Cathay Pacific Group reported a drop in cargo volumes last month as market sentiment continued to soften.
Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon carried 169,720 tonnes of cargo and mail in July, recording a decline of 8.2% compared to the same month last year, but slightly up by 3.5% from the 163,977 tonnes of cargo it carried in June.
The carrier said cargo and mail load factor fell by 7.2 percentage points to 63.1%. Capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs), was up by 0.8% while cargo and mail revenue freight tonne-kilometers (RFTKs) dropped by 9.4%.
In the first seven months of 2019, the tonnage fell by 6.1% against a 1.0% increase in capacity and a 6.6% decrease in RFTKs, as compared to the same period for 2018.
"Our cargo business continued to face headwinds with market sentiment softening across the board. Indeed, South Asia was the only sales region where we still saw tonnage growth compared to the previous month and year," said Cathay Pacific chief customer and commercial officer Ronald Lam.
"While the market outlook remains uncertain, we continue to be vigilant as we work to mitigate the impact on our business. We are diligently matching capacity with customer demand while also strengthening our capability to carry specialized shipments," he added.
The group carried a total of 3.3 million passengers last month – an increase of 4% compared to July 2018. Load factor, however, decreased by 0.6 percentage points to 86.1%, while capacity, measured in available seat kilometers (ASKs), rose by 7.2%.
In the first seven months of 2019, the number of passengers carried grew by 4.4% while capacity increased by 6.7%, as compared to the same period for 2018 as recent events in Hong Kong over the past two months did not "substantially impact" our passenger business in July, Lam said.
The carrier anticipates a much more significant impact on its revenue in August and onwards, he added.