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Cathay Pacific releases March 2003 traffic figures

15 Apr 2003


Cathay Pacific Airways today released traffic figures for the month of March 2003 that show a combination of the outbreak of atypical pneumonia and the war in Iraq beginning to have an impact on business.

In March 2003, Cathay Pacific carried 915,741 passengers, down from 974,108 passengers in February 2003 and 13 percent down from March 2002. The passenger load factor fell to 66.4 percent ¡V down 16.7 percentage points from the same month last year.

Since the end of March, however, passenger traffic has fallen to about one-third of what it normally would be at this time of year. The airline has currently temporarily cut its full schedule by around 42% due to the steep drop in demand.

In March 2003 Cathay Pacific carried 81,010 tonnes of cargo, up from 62,155 tonnes in February and up 1.8 percent compared to March 2002. The cargo market showed no sign of slowing down in March, despite the beginning of hostilities in the Middle East.

Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management, Sales and Distribution Ian Shiu said: "For the first half of March passenger traffic held up quite well, but then we began to see quite a rapid falloff in passenger numbers as the combined impact of the war and the atypical pneumonia outbreak began to bite. Short-haul traffic fell away much quicker than long-haul due to the big impact of the SARS outbreak in the region."

Cathay Pacific General Manager Cargo Kenny Tang said: "Despite the beginning of the Iraq war and lingering economic concerns, the cargo market held up quite well in March. Some of this was down to businesses ¡¥stocking up¡¦ before the war began, while the reduction in freighter capacity in the United States due to the Iraq war was another factor working in our favour."

The full March 2003 figures are on the following page.
TRAFFIC Mar 2003 % change
vs Mar 02
Cumulative
Mar 2003
Cumulative
Mar 2002
% change
RPK (000)
- Europe 894,227 -12.8%2,671,760 2,656,620 0.6%
- Pacific and South Africa 1,642,205 2.9% 5,453,527 4,807,739 13.4%
- North Asia 555,128 -16.3% 1,850,784 1,858,922 -0.4%
- Southeast Asia and Middle East 729,958 -15.7% 2,359,4882,389,267 -1.2%
RPK Total (000) 3,821,519 -8.0% 12,335,559 11,712,549 5.3%
Pax carried 915,741 -13.0% 2,974,330 2,956,608 0.6%
Cargo and mail tonne km (000) 486,257 6.9%1,237,1861,160,289 6.6%
Freight carried (000 kg) 81,010 1.8%211,390201,991 4.7%
Number of flights 2,465 11.8%7,2056,430 12.0%

CAPACITY Mar 2003 % change
vs Mar 02
Cumulative
Mar 2003
Cumulative
Mar 2002
% change
ASK (000)
- Europe 1,144,038 3.8%3,317,230 3,178,440 4.4%
- Pacific and South Africa 2,418,895 30.1%7,111,6465,646,493 25.9%
- North Asia 953,903 5.3% 2,846,4542,651,174 7.4%
- Southeast Asia and Middle East 1,241,275 10.1% 3,641,6853,335,097 9.2%
ASK Total (000) 5,758,112 15.3% 16,917,015 14,811,204 14.2%
Passenger load factor 66.4% -16.7pt 72.9% 79.1% -6.2pt
Available cargo/mail tonne km (000) 686,509 15.9%1,906,7841,651,062 15.5%
Cargo and mail load factor 70.8% -6.0pt 64.9% 70.3% -5.4pt
ATK(000) 1,234,316 15.6% 3,516,1303,060,167 14.9%

* AHK European routes are included in Mar 2002 figures and traffic statistics figures are restated for comparison purpose.