Cathay Pacific suffers rare drop in passenger traffic

Cathay Pacific suffers rare drop in passenger traffic

Hong Kong-based airline says it is "not seeing the high volumes we saw last year"

Hong Kong-based airline says it is "not seeing the high volumes we saw last year"

Cathay Pacific handled 2.91m passengers in April
Cathay Pacific handled 2.91m passengers in April

Cathay Pacific recorded an unexpected decline in passenger traffic in April 2016.

The slight 0.1% dip in passenger numbers, to 2.91 million, came despite the fact that Cathay and its sister carrier, Dragonair, added 2.4% more available seats in the month. This caused the airline’s average load factor to fall 2.3 percentage points to 84.9%.

Cathay admitted that it experienced a “general weakening in passenger demand last month across most of the markets we serve”.

Measured in revenue passenger kilometre (RPK) terms, Cathay’s traffic fell 0.3%. Routes to South Asia & Middle East (-11.2%), Northeast Asia (-2.8%) and Europe (-1.6%) all declined, while growth was seen on routes to mainland China (+3.0%), Southeast Asia (+3.8%) and North America (+1.3%).

“Overall we are not seeing the high volumes we saw last year. Pressure on yield remains, with competition increasing and premium demand continuing to fall short of expectations,” said Patricia Hwang, the airline’s general manager for revenue management.

For the first four months of 2016, Cathay and Dragonair have now carried a total of 11.51m passengers, up 3.8% year-on-year.

Mark Elliott
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Mark Elliott
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