Cathay Pacific releases traffic figures for February 2023
Cathay Pacific today released its traffic figures for February 2023. The airline’s positive momentum at the start of the year has continued.
Cathay Pacific carried a total of 1,114,727 passengers last month, an increase of 3,467 percent compared with the same month last year. The month’s revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) increased 4,720 percent year-on-year. Passenger load factor increased by more than 38 percentage points to 86.2 percent, while capacity, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs), increased by 2,562 percent year-on-year. In the first two months of 2023, the number of passengers carried increased by 3,737 percent against a 2,071 percent increase in capacity and a 4,227 percent increase in RPKs, as compared with the same period for 2022.
In a March 16 press release, Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Lavinia Lau said, “We are pleased to see that our positive start to 2023 continued in February. Passenger numbers further improved after the Lunar New Year holidays; we carried more than 1.1 million passengers last month averaging almost 40,000 per day. We continued to add more flights and destinations, with February seeing passenger flight capacity increase about 6 percent month-on-month as well as the resumption of our Wenzhou flights.”
The airline carried 103,932 tonnes of cargo last month, an increase of 59.6 percent compared with February 2022, when their cargo capacity was significantly reduced due to stricter aircrew quarantine measures. The month’s cargo revenue tonne kilometres (RFTKs) increased 153.9 percent year-on-year. The cargo load factor decreased by 13.7 percentage points to 66.7 percent, while capacity, measured in available cargo tonne kilometres (AFTKs), increased by about 206 percent year-on-year. In the first two months of 2023, the tonnage increased by 42.8 percent against a 201.3 percent increase in capacity and a 147.4 percent increase in RFTKs, as compared with the same period for 2022.
“Turning to March and beyond, we are making good progress in increasing our capacity and rebuilding connectivity at the Hong Kong international aviation hub. By the end of March, the Cathay Group will be operating approximately 50 percent of pre-pandemic passenger flight capacity, covering more than 70 destinations,” Lau added.
She said, “Travel demand overall remained strong across our network, especially traffic to and from the Chinese Mainland via the Hong Kong hub. We also saw strong demand on our Taipei and Kaohsiung routes in the last week of February after the lifting of all travel restrictions on Hong Kong and Macau residents. We are pleased to see that demand is also growing for premium travel for both business and leisure purposes.
Lau said, “Looking at our cargo business, tonnage grew 9 percent in February compared to January, reflecting the gradual recovery in demand following the Lunar New Year holidays. Inbound demand from the Americas, Europe, Northeast Asia and Southwest Pacific remained steady, especially across our special solutions, such as Cathay Fresh and Cathay Pharma. Ad-hoc demand from Southeast Asia as well as South Asia, the Middle East and Africa (SAMEA) also helped fill the gaps left by demand from Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland on long-haul routes.”
“February saw a number of exciting new developments, including the launch of Cathay Cargo — a rebrand of our cargo business. The change aligns with the Cathay Group’s overarching ambition to ‘Move Beyond’, and reinforces our cargo business’s commitment to offering leading-edge services to our customers.”