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Fri, 24 Jan 2020

Cathay Pacific Reports December 2019 Traffic

Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon carried a total of 2,994,830 passengers in December 2019, a decline of 3.6% compared to the same month in 2018.

The passenger load factor increased by 1.2 percentage points to 85%, while capacity, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs), decreased by 1.3%.

For 2019 as a whole, the number of passengers carried declined by 0.7% against a 5.1% increase in capacity as compared to 2018.

Cathay Pacific A350 in the foreground with a Cathay Pacific B747F in the background at HKIA. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

Cathay Pacific Group Chief Customer and Commercial Officer, Ronald Lam, said, Demand for travel into Hong Kong continued to be weak in December with our inbound passenger traffic seeing a year-on-year decline of 46% unchanged from November. The sentiment for travel into Hong Kong was particularly weak on our regional routes such as mainland China, Taiwan and Japan. On the brighter side, our long-haul routes performed well with better load factors. Outbound traffic, meanwhile, was down 4% a further improvement over the previous few months, but still significantly below what we would expect for a peak holiday month. Given the overall weak performance of both our inbound and outbound traffic, we remained heavily focused and reliant upon lower-yield transit traffic via Hong Kong, which grew by 15% compared to the same time in 2018. Overall, our passenger load factor in December improved by 1.2 percentage points from last year to 85%, partly due to a 1.3% reduction in capacity. 2019 was an incredibly challenging year for both the Cathay Pacific Group and Hong Kong. Our full-year load factor remained above 82% despite being 1.8 percentage points lower compared with 2018. Intense competition, particularly during the non-peak period, along with our greater reliance on transit traffic have continued to place significant pressure on yield.

The two airlines carried 177,561 tonnes of cargo and mail in December 2019, a decrease of 2.9% compared to in December 2018.

 The cargo and mail load factor declined by 1.3 percentage points to 66.4%. Capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometres (AFTKs), was down by 3.8% while cargo and mail revenue freight tonne kilometres (RFTKs) dropped by 5.7%.

 For 2019 as a whole, the tonnage fell by 6.1% against a 0.3% reduction in capacity and a 6.7% decrease in RFTKs as compared to 2018.

On the cargo side, our overall volume in December was on par with November and we enjoyed good all-round support from and to all the regions in our network all the way through to the final week of the year. Our mainland China and Southwest Pacific routes were the outstanding performers, recording both month-on-month and year-on-year improvement in sales. Our focus on specialised cargo solutions continued to offer positives; we carried more mail and Fresh LIFT cargo, backed by strong demand for e-commerce and seasonal produce towards the end of the year. We also celebrated our first ever freighter flight to South America, carrying seasonal cherries from Chile back to Asia, Mr Lam said. As previously reported, our second-half performance will be significantly below that of the first half. We anticipate 2020 will continue to present us with a highly challenging operating environment. We remain agile in our operations, ensuring our capacity is best aligned with demand. As announced last month, we are reluctantly reducing our overall seat capacity in 2020  by 1.4% year-on-year as opposed to our original plan of 3.1% growth in light of the immediate commercial challenges we are facing.

This year, Cathay Pacific is scheduled to take delivery of its first Airbus A321neo is preparing for the Boeing 777-9 aircraft as well.

See latest Travel News, Interviews, Podcasts and other news regarding: Cathay Pacific, Traffic, ASKs, AFTKs, RFTKs.

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