Cathay Pacific has released traffic figures for November 2005 that show a double-digit increase in the number of flights in the past year underpinning steady passenger and cargo growth.
The airline carried 1,283,169 passengers in November, an 8.1 percent increase on the same month last year, and 100,130 tonnes of cargo, a 15.2 percent rise.
Passenger growth was slightly below a corresponding 9.7 percent increase in capacity, measured in terms of Available Seat Kilometres. Cargo tonnage was again boosted by transhipment cargo to and from Shanghai.
Last month Cathay Pacific operated 2,878 flights, a 10.7 percent increase year-on-year. The airline has in the past year expanded its fleet and strengthened its network. Eight additional aircraft entered service with Cathay Pacific in 2005.
In November, a new three-times-weekly freighter service was launched to Dallas and Atlanta in the United States. Passenger services to Europe were strengthened with the announcement of a daily service to Rome, plus a new service to Moscow and Manchester. All will start 27 March 2006.
Cathay Pacific also announced its biggest-ever new aircraft acquisition with orders for 16 long-haul Boeing 777-300ER and purchase rights on 20 more, plus three Airbus A330-300s for regional services. The airline will have 100 aircraft in 2006, its 60th Anniversary.
November’s figures also show the passenger load factor was 76.3 percent, down 0.8 points year-on-year and the cargo load factor was 68.7 percent, almost unchanged from last year despite a corresponding 6.8 increase in capacity measured in terms of Available Cargo Tonne Kilometres.
Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management, Sales & Distribution Ian Shiu said:
“Business was good in November, even though demand is usually softer ahead of the year-end holidays. Capacity has increased significantly from the same month last year with additional services to cities such as Amsterdam and Los Angeles. Yet revenue growth from an 8.1 percent increase in passenger numbers suffered continued downward pressure on yield. December looks set to be a strong month.”
Cathay Pacific Director & General Manager Cargo Ron Mathison said: “Our new Dallas and Atlanta service got off to a very good start with full loads out of Hong Kong. The first flight was just 49 kilogrammes short of its maximum capacity. Still, the peak year-end period is attracting a lot of competitor capacity, depressing yield and making inbound flights to Hong Kong harder to fill. High fuel costs continue to weigh heavy on operations.”