|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||15 March 2016|
Cathay Pacific Airways today released combined Cathay Pacific and Dragonair traffic figures for February 2016 that show an increase in the number of passengers carried compared to the same month in 2015, alongside a double-digit drop in the volume of cargo and mail uplifted.
Cathay Pacific and Dragonair carried a total of 2,746,629 passengers last month - an increase of 2.7% compared to February 2015. The passenger load factor fell by 2.5 percentage points to 82.4% while capacity, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs), grew by 8.6%. In the first two months of 2016, the number of passengers carried rose by 6.7% compared to a 7.2% increase in capacity.
The two airlines carried 117,299 tonnes of cargo and mail in February, a 10.1% decrease compared to the same month last year. The cargo and mail load factor fell by 7.5 percentage points to 58.0%. Capacity, measured in available cargo/mail tonne kilometres, was up by 1.1% while cargo and mail revenue tonne kilometres (RTKs) flown decreased by 10.4%. In the first two months of 2016, tonnage carried fell by 4.6% against a 1.8% increase in capacity and a 5.2% drop in RTKs.
Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management Patricia Hwang said: "Following a busy January, passenger traffic in February was something of a disappointment, with the increase in passengers carried falling well short of the increase in capacity. We saw strong loads over the Chinese New Year period, particularly to popular holiday destinations within the region, but demand lagged expectations for much of the month. The trend for weakened premium demand continued, particularly on our North America routes. This had a negative impact on yield, as did adverse currency swings."
Cathay Pacific General Manager Cargo Sales & Marketing Mark Sutch said: "Airfreight demand dropped away sharply in the early part of the month as factories in Mainland China closed down for the Chinese New Year holiday. In comparison to the holiday period last year, demand was much slower in picking up after factories reopened, which led to a higher concentration of lower-yield cargo from Southeast Asia and India being uplifted onto our transpacific freighter flights. The sustained drop in fuel prices has led to older aircraft become more economically viable. The resulting overcapacity continues to put downward pressure on cargo yields."
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