Cathay Pacific Airways today released traffic figures for the month of December 2002 that show continued growth in both the airline`s cargo and passenger operations during the month and some record volumes for the year as a whole.
In December 2002, Cathay Pacific carried 1,104,455 passengers, up from 992,738 passengers carried in November, and an 11.9 percent increase over December 2001. December`s passenger load factor also increased to 77.5 percent, 4.1 percentage points up from November and a 2.3 percentage point gain on December 2001.
With the peak season for freight coming to an end, the airline carried 74,008 tonnes of cargo in December, down from 83,720 tonnes in November, yet up 4.6 percent from December 2001.
Cumulative figures for the entire year show a 9.3% increase in passenger numbers and a 15.2% increase in cargo tonnage, compared to the whole of 2001. An average passenger load factor of 77.8 percent for 2002 was a company record, as was the total 851,439 tonnes of freight carried by the airline.
Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management, Sales and Distribution Ian Shiu said: “Our average load factor for the whole of 2002 was our highest on record, but our average yields [average revenue per passenger per kilometre] remained weak. Fewer passengers flew in First and Business Class, and a larger proportion of revenue came from long-haul flights, which generally have lower yields than short-haul ones. This `structural` shift in revenue mix will likely stay with us for some time.”
Cathay Pacific General Manager Cargo Kenny Tang added: “December`s figures were naturally lower from the previous month but remained satisfactory. Last year was a very good year for the cargo business - especially for handling exports from Hong Kong - and we set a company record in terms of total tonnage carried in the 12-month period.”