Aviation article(s)
August 15, 2023

Cathay Pacific continued to report growth in its air cargo volumes, bucking the overall downtrend in the industry.


The Hong Kong-headquartered airline recorded air freight increases in July both on year-on-year terms and also compared to the volumes seen in June.


Cathay Pacific carried 115,729 tonnes of cargo last month, an increase of 14.9% compared with July 2022.


Month-on-month, July numbers were also higher than the 111,210 tonnes of cargo seen in June.


July's cargo performance was also higher month-on-month, from the 109,834 tonnes of cargo handled by the airline in May, and the 109,372 tonnes of cargo recorded in April.


Boost from e-commerce, perishables



"While overall cargo demand in July remained at similar levels compared with June, e-commerce traffic continued to be a bright spot holding volumes up," said Lavinia Lau, chief customer and commercial officer at Cathay Pacific.


"Movement of seasonal fresh produce has also been active, contributing to good volume growth under our Cathay Fresh solution. All in all, cargo tonnage in July grew 4% month on month," she added.


For July, Cathay Pacific's cargo revenue tonne kilometres (RFTKs) increased 24.6% year on year.


Meanwhile, the cargo load factor decreased by 11.2 percentage points to 59.8%, while capacity — measured in available cargo tonne kilometres (AFTKs) —  increased by 47.9% year on year as the airline continued to rebuild its network.


In the first seven months of 2023, the tonnage increased by 22.4% against a 102.5% increase in capacity and a 71.1% increase in RFTKs, as compared with the same period for 2022.


Looking ahead, Cathay expects air freight volumes to further pick up leading to the traditional peak season months.


"On the cargo side, while we expect volumes to remain flat for the rest of the summer period, we anticipate demand will pick up from the end of the third quarter as we enter the traditional peak period for air cargo," Lau said in a statement.


"Overall, we anticipate our cargo business will continue to perform solidly throughout the second half of 2023," the Cathay chief customer and commercial officer, added.


Overall, Cathay Pacific said it is now operating close to 60% of pre-pandemic passenger flight capacity levels.


"We are on track to achieve our target of 70% covering 80 destinations by the end of this year, and we are confident of reaching 100% by the end of 2024," Lau further said.


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