Cathay traffic boosted by 11% for 2006

Cathay Pacific Airways has released traffic figures that show a continued growth in passenger numbers and cargo tonnage in June 2006, and an overall strong performance for the first half of the year.In the first six months of 2006, the airline carried 8,144,335 passengers, up 11.1% on the first half of 2005, while the amount of freight carried was up 10.5% at 572,552 tonnes.

Rises in passenger and cargo traffic stayed ahead of capacity growth - 10.8% for available seat kilometres (ASKs) and 5.8% for available cargo/mail tonne kilometres (ATKs).

In June, Cathay Pacific carried a total of 1,392,462 passengers, up 10.7% on the same month last year. The passenger load factor for the month hit 82.8%, up 2.7 percentage points on 2005. The passenger number increase was marginally above the increase in capacity, measured in ASKs, which grew by 10.4%.

The airline carried 96,255 tonnes of freight in June, up 7.6% year-on-year. The growth in tonnage was above the capacity rise for the month, which came in at 6.9% measured in ATKs. The airline’s cargo business received a boost from the launch of a new service to Mumbai and Chennai in India, with flights commencing on 2 June.

Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management, Sales & Distribution Ian Shiu said: “The performance for June is quite impressive. Long-haul routes to Europe and North America were particularly strong, with healthy front-end business helping to offset the impact of increased competition on back-end yields. All in all, it was a good build up to our summer peak and indications are that business will remain buoyant over the summer.”

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Cathay Pacific Director & General Manager Cargo Ron Mathison said: “For the past few months the story has been very similar - very strong demand out of Hong Kong and China to our long-haul freight destinations, with weaker traffic coming back due to excess capacity in the market. New competitors are coming into the market all the time so we don’t expect things to get any easier. However, we will get a welcome capacity boost when our second Boeing 747-400BCF ‘Boeing Converted Freighter’ enters service in mid-July.”
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