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Cathay Pacific continues revival with positive traffic figures for May 2024 

Cathay Pacific has released its traffic figures for May 2024 which show the Hong-Kong-based carrier is continuing along the path to a full recovery. In the first five months of 2024 (January to May), Cathay Pacific and its subsidiary HK Express surpassed the 10 million mark for passengers carried, with a combined 11.2 million passengers carried during the five months. 

Cathay Pacific carried a total of 1,678,532 passengers in May 2024, an increase of 18.4% compared with May 2023. The month’s revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) increased 20.8% year on year.  

Although the passenger load factor decreased by 4.8 percentage points to 80.3% (indicative of the airline’s fleet expansion), available seat kilometers (ASKs), a measure of total capacity flown, increased by 28% year on year. In the first five months of 2024, the number of passengers carried increased by 40.7% to a total of 8,821,895, against a 45.7% increase in ASKs and a 37.5% increase in RPKs, as compared with the same period for 2023. 

Carlos Yudica / Shutterstock

“May was, as expected, a slightly quieter period for our travel business compared with previous months as demand slowed down, particularly on our regional routes,” said Cathay Pacific’s Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Lavinia Lau. “Without any long weekend holidays in Hong Kong, we experienced a 4% decrease in passenger numbers compared with April, when multiple holidays drove strong leisure demand. However, compared with the same month last year, passenger numbers were 18% higher.” 

“Although leisure traffic from Hong Kong declined, we saw increased demand from various countries in Southeast Asia due to the school holidays there. Additionally, our long-haul services were boosted by the return of student traffic to Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland from North America, resulting in 90% load factors on our United States and Canada routes. Business travel demand continued to be solid, with strong sales in Hong Kong supporting traffic on a number of our Chinese Mainland, North American, and United Kingdom routes,” Lau added. 


On the freight side, the airline carried 121,088 tons of cargo in May 2024, an increase of 10.2% compared with May 2023. The month’s cargo revenue ton kilometers (RFTKs) increased 3.8% year on year. The cargo load factor decreased by 2.1 percentage points to 59.4%, while available cargo ton kilometers (AFTKs) increased by 7.5% year on year.  

In the first five months of 2024, the tonnage increased by 10.2% to a total of 594,896 tons, against an 11.8% increase in AFTKs and a 4.4% increase in RFTKs, as compared with the same period for 2023. 

Cathay Cargo

“Cargo demand from Hong Kong and the rest of the Greater Bay Area remained solid throughout May,” said Lau. “Across our network, tonnage grew 3% against last month, and 10% compared with May 2023, underpinned by a capacity growth of 7.5%. We observed particularly strong growth from Hong Kong, the Chinese Mainland, the Taiwan region, and Southeast Asia.”  

“In terms of commodity mix, there was also an increase in tonnage of general cargo as well as special cargo, with significant movements of high-end electronics, seafood, and consumer products. E-commerce continued to perform well,” Lau added. 

The outlook ahead 

Speaking about the carrier’s revived fortunes following the end of the COVID-19 travel restrictions in the Far East, and Hong Kong in particular, Lau said the airline remains positive about its immediate future and its expansion plans for the rest of 2024. 

“On the travel side, we achieved another milestone in our rebuilding journey as we reached 80% of our pre-pandemic passenger flights as a Group in the second quarter as planned. We remain on track to reach 100% within the first quarter of 2025 as we continue to add more flights and destinations for our customers,” Lau added.  

“So far in 2024, Cathay Pacific has already added Chennai, Colombo, and Barcelona to our global network, while HK Express has added Beijing (Daxing), Bangkok (Don Mueang), Sanya, and Clark. Our passenger airlines now fly to more than 80 destinations around the world. This number will rise to 90 by next year as we continue to welcome even more destinations to our network, including Riyadh on October 28, 2024,” Lau continued.  

“For cargo, we expect demand to remain strong as it has been throughout the first five months of 2024. Market sentiment, particularly out of Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland, remains positive and we will continue to adjust our freighter capacity to suit the needs of our customers,” Lau concluded. 

The post Cathay Pacific continues revival with positive traffic figures for May 2024  appeared first on AeroTime.

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