|For Immediate Release||21 August 2019|
Cathay Pacific Group today released combined Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon traffic figures for July 2019 that show an increase in the number of passengers carried and a drop in cargo and mail uplifted compared to the same month in 2018.
Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon carried a total of 3,278,742 passengers last month - an increase of 4.0% compared to July 2018. However, passenger load factor decreased by 0.6 percentage points to 86.1%, while capacity, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs), rose by 7.2%. In the first seven months of 2019, the number of passengers carried grew by 4.4% while capacity increased by 6.7%, as compared to the same period for 2018.
The two airlines carried 169,720 tonnes of cargo and mail last month, a drop of 8.2% compared to the same month last year. The cargo and mail load factor fell by 7.2 percentage points to 63.1%. Capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometres (AFTKs), was up by 0.8% while cargo and mail revenue freight tonne kilometres (RFTKs) dropped by 9.4%. In the first seven months of 2019, the tonnage fell by 6.1% against a 1.0% increase in capacity and a 6.6% decrease in RFTKs, as compared to the same period for 2018.
Cathay Pacific Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Ronald Lam said: "Recent events in Hong Kong over the past two months did not substantially impact our passenger business in July; however, we anticipate a much more significant impact to our revenue in August and onwards. Traffic into Hong Kong, both business and leisure, has weakened substantially and we've also now seen ex-Hong Kong traffic starting to soften, especially on our short-haul network including mainland China, Taiwan, South Korea and South East Asia. Providing a customer experience that is second to none has always been a cornerstone of the Cathay Pacific brand and is how we will maintain our reputation as one of the greatest service brands in the world.
"Going back to our July performance, passenger demand was strong in the first half of the summer peak while load factors also remained high. Especially pleasing were our India and Taiwan services, which have continued to perform well. As anticipated, however, yield remained under pressure due to intense competition and increasing transit passenger traffic, and our North America, Europe and mainland China routes underperformed as a result.
"Our cargo business continued to face headwinds with market sentiment softening across the board. Indeed, South Asia was the only sales region where we still saw tonnage growth compared to the previous month and year. While the market outlook remains uncertain, we continue to be vigilant as we work to mitigate the impact on our business. We are diligently matching capacity with customer demand while also strengthening our capability to carry specialised shipments."