Cathay Pacific Airways today released traffic figures for April 2002 showing negative growth in passenger traffic yet strong gains in cargo, when compared to the same month last year. The airline carried 993,285 passengers, a 3.8% decline from April 2001, and 64,151 tonnes of cargo, up 12.7% from a year ago.
Cumulative figures for the first four months of 2002 showed a positive 0.3% increase in passenger traffic over the same period last year and strong 10% growth in cargo.
The volume of passenger traffic in April measured in terms of revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) fell by 6.5%, as a result of weaker demand on long-haul routes during the month, with the Easter peak travel season falling in March this year compared to April in 2001. The passenger load factor for the month was 79.2%, partly reflecting selective capacity reductions.
The cargo load factor was 69.5%. Cargo traffic was already showing signs of slowing in April 2001. Although strong growth recorded in April this year comes from a weaker base, export demand to the US is generating strong absolute growth. Cargo capacity measured in terms of available tonne kilometres was up 0.4% from April 2001.
Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management, Sales & Distribution Ian Shiu said: “Traffic volumes for the first four months are much better than we would have predicted at the start of the year. Yields are still soft, the business travel market has not fully recovered and the market remains very competitive. Holidays falling at different times can influence comparisons between monthly figures. Yet the trend is that more people are travelling, which augurs well for the rest of the year.”