Cathay Pacific’s and Dragonair’s combined traffic
figures for March 2009 show a drop in the number of passengers carried
compared to the same month last year together with another sharp fall in
cargo and mail tonnage.
In March 2009, Cathay Pacific and Dragonair
between them carried a total of 2,096,011 passengers – a fall of
3.2% compared to the same month in 2008 - while the load factor
fell by 3 percentage points to 79.1%. Capacity for the month,
measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs), dropped by 0.8%. For
the year to date, the number of passengers carried is down by 2.7%
while capacity has risen by 0.1%.
The two airlines carried
a total of 129,628 tonnes of cargo and mail last month, down 13.7%
on March 2008, while capacity, measured in available cargo/mail
tonne kilometres, fell by 10.0%. The cargo and mail load factor
fell by 0.3 percentage points to 67.9%. For the year to date,
tonnage has fallen by 18.7% compared to a capacity drop of 14.1%.
Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management Tom Owen
said, "The slump in our passenger business continued in March,
with overall passenger numbers and load factor both showing a fall
from last year's high base, which included the Easter holiday
period. Leisure traffic held up relatively well in terms of
volumes, particularly on long-haul routes, although customers are
only willing to travel at the much lower fares available in a
highly competitive marketplace. This, combined with the ongoing
malaise of premium-cabin demand and adverse currency movements,
continues to exert considerable downward pressure on yields."
Cathay Pacific General Manager Cargo Sales & Marketing Titus
Diu added, "The sharp drop in tonnage compared to the previous year
highlights the continued weakness of the global airfreight
business, and the fierce competition in shrinking markets is
putting tremendous pressure on our cargo yield. The market out of
the Hong Kong continues to be hit by a fall in production in the
key Pearl and Yangtze River Delta areas, though our business to
and from the United States received a lift from the launch of a
new service to Miami and Houston which is giving us greater access
to the important South American markets."
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