Cathay Pacific’s traffic figures for November 2005 show a double-digit increase in the number of flights in the past year underpinning steady passenger and cargo growth.
The airline carried 1,283,169 passengers in November, an 8.1% increase on the same month last year, and 100,130 tons of cargo, a 15.2% rise.
Passenger growth was slightly below a corresponding 9.7% increase in capacity, measured in terms of Available Seat Kilometres. Cargo tonnage was again boosted by transhipment cargo to and from Shanghai.
Last month Cathay Pacific operated 2,878 flights, a 10.7% increase year-on-year. The airline has in the past year expanded its fleet and strengthened its network. Eight additional aircraft entered service with Cathay Pacific in 2005.
November’s figures also show the passenger load factor was 76.3%, down 0.8 points year-on-year and the cargo load factor was 68.7%, almost unchanged from last year despite a corresponding 6.8% increase in capacity measured in terms of Available Cargo Tonne Kilometres.
Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management, Sales & Distribution Ian Shiu said: “Business was good in November, even though demand is usually softer ahead of the year-end holidays. Capacity has increased significantly from the same month last year with additional services to cities such as Amsterdam and Los Angeles. Yet revenue growth from an 8.1% increase in passenger numbers suffered continued downward pressure on yield. December looks set to be a strong month.”
Cathay Pacific Director & General Manager Cargo Ron Mathison said: “Our new Dallas and Atlanta service got off to a very good start with full loads out of Hong Kong. The first flight was just 49 kilograms short of its maximum capacity. Still, the peak year-end period is attracting a lot of competitor capacity, depressing yield and making inbound flights to Hong Kong harder to fill. High fuel costs continue to weigh heavy on operations.”
Moscow and Manchester flights
Cathay Pacific Airways today announced it will, pending final government approvals, make history again as the first Hong Kong airline flying to Russia with the launch of a three-times-weekly service to Moscow, starting 27 March 2006.
From Moscow, Cathay Pacific’s service will continue onwards to Manchester, England. Cathay Pacific will be the only airline to offer a direct passenger service to Manchester from Hong Kong. The announcement came a week after the airline placed its biggest ever order for new aircraft in order to add flights and new destinations.
The Moscow service will extend an existing codeshare agreement with Aeroflot—Russian Airlines, while the Manchester service marks a resumption of Cathay Pacific passenger flights to the city, which traditionally has strong ties with Hong Kong. The route will be operated with an Airbus A340-300.
Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Philip Chen said: “Cathay Pacific’s new Moscow and Manchester service adds yet another spoke to the Hong Kong hub. It strengthens the city’s ties to Europe and reinforces its position as the gateway to the Chinese Mainland.”
Chen added: “Moscow is an exciting destination and our new service will offer Hong Kong passengers more choices and greater travel convenience to this great capital. With three new services to Manchester, we will operate an unmatched 31 flights every week from Hong Kong to the UK.”
Both the Moscow and Manchester services are expected to generate new hub traffic to and from Australia, New Zealand and around the region. Hong Kong’s gateway position will appeal to Russian businesses forging closer trade ties within the Pearl River Delta.
Daily service to Rome planned
Cathay Pacific Airways today announced it will further strengthen Hong Kong’s connections to Europe with a daily service to Rome, starting 27 March 2006. A daily service, increased from the current five flights a week, will provide passengers greater flexibility for travel between Italy, Hong Kong and connecting points in Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Philip Chen said: “Cathay Pacific offers more flights to Europe from Hong Kong than any other airline, and the only service to Italy. The addition of more Cathay Pacific services makes travelling via Hong Kong a far more attractive proposition to passengers and multiplies the airport’s strength as a global hub and gateway to the Chinese Mainland.”