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Cathay loads rise

written by WOFA | November 12, 2009

Cathay Pacific and Dragonair saw their loads rise during October as a result of capacity cuts, although yields remain lower than during the same time last year.

The two carriers saw their passenger numbers drop by 3.9 per cent during the month, as capacity was down 10.1 per cent. That cut saw load factor increase by 6.8 percentage points to 82.3 per cent. For the calendar year to date, passenger numbers are 3.8 per cent lower, while load factor is one percentage point higher at 80.1 per cent.

“The seasonal upturn in our passenger business that began in September continued through into last month,” said Cathay Pacific’s general manager of revenue management Tom Owen. “Though our overall passenger numbers saw a year-on-year drop in October, the fall was below the reduction in capacity over the same period – hence the sharp rise in the month’s load factor. The pick-up in premium traffic was helped by events such as the Canton Fair, but volumes and yields were still below October 2008, when the financial crisis had already begun to have an impact.”

Cargo carriage for the two carriers was down by 0.8 per cent for the month, although a 15.6 per cent cut in available cargo capacity saw load factor rise by 10.8 percentage points to 76.7 per cent.

Commenting on the cargo figures, the airline’s general manager of cargo sales and marketing Titus Diu said, “October was the best month of the year so far for our cargo business, with strong demand out of the key Hong Kong and Shanghai markets leading to high load factors, particularly to North America and Europe, and a welcome increase in yield. We expect demand to remain strong through to mid-December, though it is still too early to say whether we are seeing a sustained recovery.”


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