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19 Feb 2002
Cathay Pacific Announces January 2002 Traffic Figures



Cathay Pacific Airways today released traffic figures for January 2002 which reflected seasonal swings in passenger and cargo business that were influenced by the arrival of the Chinese New Year. January's figures do not easily compare with those from the same month last year because January 2001 included the early arrival of the New Year festival.

Cathay Pacific carried a total 960,967 passengers in January 2002, 3.1% less than the same month the previous year. The airline did not experience a particularly busy Chinese New Year in terms of passenger traffic in 2001. The volume of passenger traffic for January 2002 measured in terms of revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) fell by 3.3% compared to a year ago. The passenger load factor for the month was 75.8%.

Even so, the airline's average yield - the average amount paid for every seat - shrank as the general decline in demand forced widespread discounting. Average yields have been forced down faster by a sharp drop in the number of Business and First Class travellers.

The amount of cargo carried was 58,548 tonnes, up 17.4% from January 2001. Cargo business is busier just before the Chinese New Year, but falls significantly during the actual festival when many companies close. This January's apparent surge in cargo was created by the comparison between the busy run-up to last week's Chinese New Year and the slow period during the holidays last year.

Overall passenger capacity measured in terms of available seat kilometres (ASK) fell 6.7% in January due to reductions in the number of ultra-long-haul European and trans-Pacific flights. The actual number of flights operated was little changed because some flights were added to shorter regional routes.

Cathay Pacific's General Manager Revenue Management, Sales & Distribution Ian Shiu said: "The shifting date of the Chinese New Year makes it hard to make any meaningful comparisons to January's figures. But, seasonal swings aside, it is clear that there are fewer business travellers flying now than a year ago, and competition for leisure travellers is forcing widespread discounting on fares. This trend continues to undermine the airline's revenue."

Cathay Pacific Airways
Corporate Communication Department