Aviation article(s)
May 17, 2023

Cathay Pacific reported a month-on-month decline in April air cargo volumes amid the impact of recent holidays although figures were up by double-digits compared to the same period in 2022.


The Hong Kong-headquartered airline carried 109,372 tonnes of cargo last month, an increase of 18.4% compared with April 2022 when the airline's cargo capacity was "significantly reduced" due to stricter aircrew quarantine measures implemented by governments to stem the spread of new Covid-19 variants.


In March, Cathay handled 121,776 tonnes of cargo, recording an increase of 25.3% year-on-year. Cargo volumes are, however, up compared to February's 103,932 tonnes of cargo.


Increased cargo capacity in April


Cathay noted that April's cargo revenue tonne kilometres (RFTKs) increased 93.3% year-on-year.


Meanwhile, the cargo load factor decreased by 16.6 percentage points to 63.6%, while capacity, measured in available cargo tonne kilometres (AFTKs), increased by 143.7% year-on-year.


In the first four months of 2023, the tonnage increased by 30.8% against a 168.4% increase in capacity and a 118.1% increase in RFTKs, as compared with the same period for 2022.


"Demand for our cargo business was impacted by the holiday period in April. As a result, overall tonnage in April was down 10% month on month with a total of 109,372 tonnes carried, while capacity decreased 5% compared with March as we optimised schedules," said Lavinia Lau, chief customer and commercial officer.


"One area that continues to show positive momentum was e-commerce demand from Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland across our network, which remained strong," she added.


Looking ahead, Cathay expects volumes to recover — also boosted by the growth of belly capacity from passenger operations.


"In terms of cargo, while short-term demand has been affected by the Labour Day and Golden Week holidays at the beginning of May, we expect it to improve over the subsequent weeks," Lau said, adding that Cathay continues "to adjust [its] freighter network to reflect any significant changes in trade flows and business opportunities."


"As the belly capacity from our passenger operations grows, we are able to offer more choices to our customers and we continue to see good demand momentum with our specialist cargo solutions across the expanding network," Cathay's chief customer and commercial officer, added.

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