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11 Apr 2006
Cathay Pacific Releases March 2006 Traffic Figures



Cathay Pacific today released traffic figures for March 2006 that show steady growth as the airline continued to strengthen its network with additional services.

The airline carried 1,366,233 passengers, an 8.2 percent increase over the same month last year, even though the 2005 figures were boosted both by Easter and the World Cup Rugby Sevens. This March's figures do not reflect the full uptick in demand for this year's Sevens, which drew an estimated 23,000 visitors to Hong Kong.

Passenger growth in March 2006 was slightly below a corresponding 10.5 percent growth in capacity, measured in terms of available seat kilometres, or ASKs. In the past year services have been added to London, Los Angeles, Johannesburg, Seoul, Jakarta, and in the past couple of weeks to Frankfurt and Rome. The average passenger load factor for the month was a robust 77.1 percent.

Over Easter, the airline will operate 22 extra pairs of flights, mostly to regional destinations, to meet peak leisure travel demand. This compares to 15 pairs last year. In addition, four more weekly services will operate to Denpasar and two more to Cebu during their peak seasons, and another two weekly services will operate to Adelaide from June.

The airline carried 106,612 tonnes of cargo in March, up 10.1 percent on the same month last year, ahead of a corresponding 2.7 percent increase in capacity, measured in terms of available cargo/mail tonne kilometres.

Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management, Sales & Distribution Ian Shiu said: "All in all, March was a good month as passenger volumes continued to grow at a steady pace. While high fuel prices, a strengthening US dollar and continued downward pressure on Economy Class fares had a negative impact, the corporate market remained strong. With more extra flights than last year, Easter will be busy as well."

Cathay Pacific Director & General Manager Cargo Ron Mathison said: "Strong growth seen in March will continue through Easter, after which we will likely see the usual seasonal slowdown. Demand from China remains strong, yet downward pressure on yield is an issue on return flights, particularly those from Europe. High fuel prices are also hurting the bottom line."

Cathay Pacific Airways
Corporate Communication Department