|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||12 May 2010|
Cathay Pacific Airways today released combined Cathay Pacific and Dragonair traffic figures for April 2010 that show a fall in the number of passengers carried, largely as a result of the disruptions caused by the volcano ash cloud in Europe. Cargo and mail tonnage, however, showed a considerable rise over the low base of the previous year.
Last month, Cathay Pacific and Dragonair carried a total of 2,169,475 passengers - down 3.6% on April 2009. The month's passenger load factor was 83.9%, an increase of 1.3 percentage points, while capacity for the month, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs), fell by 5.8%. In the first four months of the year, the number of passengers carried rose by 3.7% compared to an ASK drop of 2.7%.
The two airlines carried a total of 152,808 tonnes of cargo and mail last month, up 24.1% on April last year. The cargo and mail load factor was 79.3%, a rise of 13.6 percentage points, while capacity, measured in available cargo/mail tonne kilometres, was up by 6.4%. For the year to date, tonnage has risen by 24.1% compared to a capacity increase of 1.1%.
Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management Tom Owen said: "Both the number of passengers carried and our capacity were affected by the volcanic ash induced six-day closure of airspace over most of Europe. However, on all other routes our business held up well, with volume and yield trends continuing to improve over the lows of 2009. The Easter holidays spurred leisure traffic out of Hong Kong, and we capitalised on this with some additional flights. We also saw a continuation of the pick-up in demand in our premium cabins, helped by the regional Trade Fairs. The outlook through to the summer peak season is currently solid, and we continue to resume some of the capacity cut back last year over the next few months."
Cathay Pacific General Manager Cargo Mainland China & Hong Kong James Woodrow said: "Traffic on our key European routes was hit by the volcanic ash cloud disruptions, but we are able to redeploy the capacity to good effect on routes to India, the Middle East and North America. Demand across the network remained strong throughout the month, particular out of the key Hong Kong and Shanghai markets. Where possible we have been mounting extra sectors and charter flights in response to market needs, and we announced recently that our three remaining parked freighters will soon return from the desert."
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