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11 May 2006
Cathay Pacific Releases April 2006 Traffic Figures



Cathay Pacific today released traffic figures for April 2006 that reflect continued cargo growth and a boost to already high passenger demand from public holidays.

In April, the airline carried 1,394,688, passengers, a 14.6 percent increase over the same month last year. The comparative percentage increase may have been inflated as Easter last year fell in March. Yet April's load factor was a high 80.7 percent - up more than three points even with an 11.5 percent increase in capacity, measured in terms of available seat kilometres.

The airline operated 22 extra pairs of flights, mostly to regional destinations, to meet peak leisure travel demand. This compares to 15 pairs last year. Demand to destinations within Southeast Asia was higher than last year when many travellers were deterred by the Indian Ocean Tsunami. Students and schoolchildren returning to Hong Kong for the holiday lifted passenger numbers as well.

The airline carried 96,663 tonnes of cargo in April, up 3.8 percent from the same month last year, and ahead of a corresponding 1.4 percent increase in capacity, measured in terms of available cargo/mail tonne kilometres. Easter is usually slower for cargo as many companies take a break over the holiday.

Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management, Sales & Distribution Ian Shiu said: "In April we saw very strong demand and Southeast Asia was well up. Corporate sales were strong, particularly during the second half of the month, and these customers remain upbeat with the threat of Avian Flu subsiding and continued strength in the economy. Still, rising world interest rates and instability in oil producing areas makes the long-term outlook a little uncertain."

Cathay Pacific Director & General Manager Cargo Ron Mathison said: "Easter is always slower for cargo, yet outbound freighters were still good with continued high demand from China exporters. Regional markets such as Vietnam and Sri Lanka have grown fast and will be ones to watch in the future as well. Fuel costs trended upwards through April and continued to rise in early May, adding further negative pressure to the bottom line."

Cathay Pacific Airways
Corporate Communication Department