Aviation article(s)
July 14, 2023

Cathay Pacific saw its air cargo numbers bounce in June after a slowdown recorded a month prior as the airline continues to rebuild connectivity at the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA).


The Hong Kong-headquartered airline carried 111,210 tonnes of cargo last month, an increase of 6.4% compared with June 2022.


June's cargo performance was also higher month-on-month, from the 109,834 tonnes of cargo handled by the airline in May. In April, Cathay recorded 109,372 tonnes of cargo and 121,776 tonnes of cargo were recorded in March.


"For cargo, the summer season is typically a slower period. As expected, overall demand in June remained flat, although e-commerce remains the bright spot and has helped maintain volumes," said Lavinia Lau, Cathay's chief customer and commercial officer.


For June, cargo revenue tonne kilometres (RFTKs) increased 16.3% year on year. The cargo load factor decreased by 6.7 percentage points to 61.7%, while capacity — measured in available cargo tonne kilometres (AFTKs) — increased by 29% year on year.


Cathay reported that in the first six months of 2023, the tonnage increased by 23.8% against a 117.6% increase in capacity and an 83% increase in RFTKs, as compared with the same period for 2022.


Air cargo demand to pick up by the end of Q3


Looking ahead, the carrier signalled expectations for a quiet summer season for cargo — with a pick-up in demand expected by the end of the third quarter.


"Although cargo demand is expected to remain flat throughout the summer period, we are already preparing for demand to pick up in the latter part of the third quarter," Lau said.


"Additional capacity will be operated on our key transpacific routes to cater for this," Cathay's chief customer and commercial officer added.


Meanwhile, Lau noted the Group's continued investments to boost its cargo operations like Cathay Cargo's recently launched brand campaign and new certifications that would raise the air freight carrier's competence.


"June saw the launch of our new Cathay Cargo brand campaign, 'We Know How', and the unveiling of our first Boeing 747-8F freighter in our new Cathay Cargo livery. The campaign shines a light on our tailored cargo solutions and services for customers, highlighting the efficiency, expertise and reliability shown by our people in handling their shipments," Lau said.


"Reflecting our continued investment in our special solutions, both Cathay Cargo and the Cathay Cargo Terminal obtained IATA Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) Lithium Batteries certification last month. This further enhances the safe handling and carriage of lithium battery shipments by adhering to the highest industry standards," the Cathay chief customer and commercial officer further said.

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