Cathay Pacific Airways today released traffic figures for the month of July 2003 that show a strong recovery in passenger numbers from the previous month, although the total was still down more than 20 percent from the same month a year ago.
In July 2003, Cathay Pacific carried 874,228 passengers, up from 459,627 in June, but down 21.2 percent from July last year. The passenger load factor, based on reduced capacity, increased 1.5 percentage points year-on-year to 83.6 percent.
A total of 67,340 tonnes of freight was carried during the month, down 6.9 percent from an usually busy period in July last year. The cargo load factor slipped 5.3 percent for similar reasons. Yet July’s total showed a steady increase on the 63,599 tonnes carried in June.
Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management, Sales and Distribution Ian Shiu said: “Business is building and passenger numbers are rising, but continued market pressure on ticket prices means that yield remains depressed and will remain so for some time. July’s 21 percent drop in passenger volume illustrates how summer holiday bookings to Hong Kong evaporated.”
Cathay Pacific General Manager Cargo Kenny Tang said: “This time last year air cargo shipments to the United States spiked because of the US dockers’ strike. This month’s figures appear depressed largely because they are compared against this unusually busy period. With the rapid restoration of the airline’s passenger schedule, the impact on business of reduced availability of cargo space on those services is a fading issue.”