|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||12 March 2012|
Cathay Pacific Airways today released combined Cathay Pacific and Dragonair traffic figures for February 2012 that show the growth in passenger numbers falling short of capacity growth, while cargo and mail tonnage showed a slight increase over the same month last year.
Cathay Pacific and Dragonair carried a total of 2,117,621 passengers in February - a year-on-year rise of 4.0% - while the passenger load factor dropped by 2.8 percentage points to 74.5%. Capacity for the month, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs), was up by 8.8%. For the year to date, passenger numbers are up by 8.1% compared to a capacity increase of 8.8%.
The two airlines carried 117,880 tonnes of cargo and mail last month, a rise of 0.8% compared to February 2011. The cargo and mail load factor was down by 1.8 percentage points to 65.8%. Capacity, measured in available cargo/mail tonne kilometres, rose by 4.7%, while cargo and mail tonne kilometres flown grew by 2.0%. For the year to date, tonnage has declined by 10.4% while capacity has dropped by 1.6%.
Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management James Tong said: "Chinese New Year fell in early February in 2011, so direct year-on-year comparisons are once again distorted. However, the February figures highlight the fact that the growth in passenger volumes is struggling to keep pace with the increase in capacity, while the decline in yield is becoming more apparent on all routes in Economy Class. Demand in premium cabins is holding up but again yield is coming under pressure."
Cathay Pacific General Manager Cargo Sales & Marketing James Woodrow said: "On the surface the February cargo figures look reasonably okay, but comparisons with 2011 are distorted by the Chinese New Year effect. Our key markets remained soft, with weak demand to Europe in particular out of Hong Kong and Shanghai. We continued to manage capacity in line with demand, which helped to keep load factors reasonably stable. At the end of February, demand out of Hong Kong and Mainland China did improve due to large project shipments."
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