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11 Apr 2005
Cathay Pacific Releases March 2005 Traffic Figures



Cathay Pacific Airways today released traffic figures for March 2005 that show continued strong passenger growth yet a more conservative improvement in cargo both during the month and cumulatively over the first quarter.

In March the airline carried 1,262,901 passengers, up from 1,158,154 in February, with an upturn in leisure travel over the Easter holiday and an inbound influx for the Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament.

At the same time the airline carried 96,860 tonnes of freight in March, an 8.1 percent increase from 73,420 tonnes carried in February. The March cargo load factor dipped 5.7 percentage points from the same month last year to 67.3 percent as US charter operators injected more temporary capacity into the market in response to the usual end of quarter cargo peak.

Cumulatively over the quarter, the airline recorded a 17.1 percent increase in the number of passengers carried - ahead of a corresponding 12.8 percent increase in capacity measured in terms of Available Seat Kilometres. Cargo grew a slower 3.8 percent over the period.

Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management, Sales & Distribution Ian Shiu said: "A good Easter and the Rugby Sevens contributed to strong continued passenger growth. Still, competition and pricing on both regional and long-haul services remained keen, even on routes with high loads. Rising fuel prices continued to erode the bottom line as surcharges only partially covered our additional costs. "

Cathay Pacific Director & General Manager Cargo Ron Mathison said: "The end of quarter peak in shipments out of Hong Kong was, as usual, met with a spike in the number of US charters. So even though demand was strong there was plenty of capacity in the market to cover it. At the same time, the empty space that charters created flying to Hong Kong tended to dilute inbound yields. Rising fuel prices have now pushed the cargo fuel surcharge into the highest band currently permitted by the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department."

Cathay Pacific Airways
Corporate Communication Department