|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||18 March 2013|
Cathay Pacific Airways today released combined Cathay Pacific and Dragonair traffic figures for February 2013 that show a sharp increase in the number of passengers carried compared to the same month in 2012, alongside a significant year-on-year decrease in cargo and mail tonnage. The large year-on-year variations were mainly due to the shift of Chinese New Year from January in 2012 to February this year.
Cathay Pacific and Dragonair carried a total of 2,340,029 passengers in February - an increase of 10.5% compared to the same month last year. The passenger load factor climbed by 6.3 percentage points to 80.8%, while capacity, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs), dropped by 6.1%.
The two airlines carried 103,752 tonnes of cargo and mail last month, a drop of 12.0% compared to February 2012. The cargo and mail load factor fell by 4.7 percentage points to 61.1%. Capacity, measured in available cargo/mail tonne kilometres, declined by 8.3%, while cargo and mail revenue tonne kilometres were down by 14.9%.
Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management James Tong said: "As with our January figures, year-on-year comparisons for February were distorted by the holiday effect. Comparing the first two months combined gives us a truer picture of our performance and it is reassuring to see a small increase in passenger numbers despite quite a significant drop in capacity. Passenger traffic was robust over the Chinese New Year holiday period, boosted by a total of 82 pairs of extra sectors to major holiday destinations. Demand in the premium cabins was in line with expectations for what is not a peak month for business travel."
Cathay Pacific General Manager Cargo Sales & Marketing James Woodrow said: "There was no pre-Chinese New Year rush to speak of out of Mainland China and Hong Kong, and what demand there was in the market fell away as China's factories closed. The pick-up following Chinese New Year was slower than expected. Demand on the key trade lanes to Europe and the Americas remained sluggish throughout February and we cut back our freighter schedule accordingly, though trade within the region saw a quicker rebound."
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