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13 Apr 2004
Cathay Pacific Releases March 2004 Traffic Figures



Cathay Pacific Airways today released traffic figures for March 2004 that show a record month for cargo and strong performance during the first quarter of the year for both its passenger and cargo operations.

In March, the airline carried 1,036,623 passengers, up from the 933,604 carried in February and a 13.2 percent increase over March 2003. This relatively sharp upturn from last March reflects not only the continued strength of current business but also how SARS was starting to take a toll on passenger bookings this time a year ago.

Cargo recorded a record month with 89,640 tonnes of freight carried, up from 76,937 tonnes in February and a 10.7 percent increase on March last year. Last year's cargo business was impacted less by SARS. During the month, the airline also set a new one-week cargo uplift record of 21,000 tonnes - the equivalent of about 200 fully laden Boeing 747 freighters. More than half of that amount was carried in the bellies of passenger aircraft.

Cumulative figures for the first quarter show that passenger numbers increased 4.2 percent over the same period last year and cargo tonnage grew by 11.8 percent. Capacity measured in terms of Available Tonne Kilometres (ATKs) increased by 6.9 percent year-on-year.

Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management, Sales & Distribution Ian Shiu said: "Although it's hard to make a meaningful year-on-year comparison, the fact that we carried more than one million passengers in March shows that business was good. March figures also capped a strong first quarter during which we saw steady growth in business traffic, in particular on long-haul routes. North Asia was the only weak spot with a slight falloff in the leisure travel market."

Cathay Pacific Director Sales & Marketing James Barrington said: "A very strong first quarter for cargo, which included a new one-week tonnage uplift record of 21,000 tonnes, has been supported by sustained demand from major markets in Europe, Japan and the United States in particular, where companies are rebuilding depleted inventories. Normally, cargo business peaks before a major holiday and softens directly after, but we expect this year's post-Easter slowdown to be short."

Cathay Pacific Airways
Corporate Communication Department