Cathay Pacific/Dragonair post weak May numbers despite uptick in cargo

Cathay Pacific Airways and Dragonair’s May cargo numbers are up, despite a decline in passengers during a month that Cathay Pacific general manager for revenue management Patricia Hwang called, “traditionally one of the slower months for travel.”

The jointly owned airlines carried 145,102 tonnes of mail and cargo in May, down 1.3 percent compared to the same month in 2015. However, their combined cargo and mail load factor rose by 0.1 percentage points to 62.2 percent. Over a broader spectrum, tonnage carried fell by 1.7 percent against a 0.3 percent increase in capacity and a 3.7 percent drop in revenue tonne kilometers (RTKs) during the first five months of 2016. Capacity slumped as well. Measured in available cargo/mail tonne kilometers, it was down 4.8 percent while cargo and mail RTKs were down by 4.6% percent.

The latest numbers were “affected by strong competition and weaker-than-expected premium demand. Year to date our load factor and yield have both been below expectation,” Hwang added.

The silver lining, interestingly, is in air cargo which benefitted from, “further stabilization in the tonnage being shipped out of some of key markets, in particular Mainland China, Northeast Asia and the Southwest Pacific,” according to Mark Sutch, general manager, cargo sales and marketing, for Cathy Pacific.

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