Cathay Pacific Airways today released traffic figures for March 2002 showing small but positive passenger growth and a marked improvement in cargo traffic. The airline carried 1,052,460 passengers in the month of March, a 0.9% increase on the same month last year, and 73,018 tonnes of freight, up 11.4% from March 2001.
The volume of passenger traffic for March 2002 measured in terms of revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) rose by 1.8% against the same month last year, helped by stronger demand on regional routes. The passenger load factor for the month was 83.1% and the cargo load factor was 76.0%.
The high reported load factors reflect the effects of the modest recovery in demand combined with capacity reductions, particularly on ultra-long-haul routes. Cathay Pacific operated 4.2% fewer flights in March compared to a year ago. Cargo capacity measured in terms of available cargo tonne kilometres was down 3.3% from March 2001 for similar reasons.
Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management, Sales & Distribution Ian Shiu said: “March, traditionally a good month for cargo, was helped by a rebound in exports to the U.S., though imports remain weak. On the passenger side of the business, people are travelling again but the market remains highly competitive. Average fares are much lower than last year, reflecting aggressive discounting and continued weakness in demand for front-end business travel.”