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12 Jan 2010
Cathay Pacific Releases Combined Traffic Figures for December 2009

Cathay Pacific Airways today released combined Cathay Pacific and Dragonair traffic figures for December 2009 that show a rise in passenger volumes and sharp growth in cargo and mail tonnage over the same month in 2008. For 2009 as a whole, both passenger and cargo traffic showed a decline compared to the previous year.

Cathay Pacific and Dragonair carried a total of 2,216,131 passengers in December - a rise of 5.0% on the same month in 2008. The month's passenger load factor was 83.9%, an increase of 4.9 percentage points, while capacity for the month, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs), was down by 2.0%. For the year as a whole, the number of passengers carried fell by 1.6% compared to a capacity decline of 3.7%.

The two airlines carried a total of 144,000 tonnes of cargo and mail last month, up 25.0% on the same month in 2008 when the full impact of the financial crisis was being felt. The cargo and mail load factor rose by 15.7 percentage points to 78.6%, while capacity for the month, measured in available cargo/mail tonne kilometres, was 3.3% down. For 2009 as a whole, tonnage fell by 7.1% against a capacity reduction of 13.1%.

Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management Tom Owen said: "2009 ended well, with stronger passenger demand leading to an improved load factor and yield at the highest level of the year. The encouraging result was driven by extracting better quality demand in our Economy cabins, and a continuation of a gradual rise in volume from premium passengers compared to the lows seen earlier in the year. For the full year, with a 3.7% reduction in capacity, the load factor grew to 80.5%, a record in recent years, while the total numbers of passengers registered only a modest decline. The core problem has been the precipitous drop in yields due to the premium demand collapse and intense pricing pressures in the economy cabins."

Cathay Pacific General Manager Cargo Sales & Marketing Titus Diu said: "Demand was very strong in December, with the backlog of freight in the key Hong Kong and Shanghai markets helping to stretch out the peak. December's load factor was the highest of the year, in part due to the capacity reduction, which helped to push up yield. It was pleasing to see the year end strongly and we expect to see demand remain fairly robust in the buildup to Chinese New Year."