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Cathay Pacific releases February 2006 Traffic Figures

13 Mar 2006

Cathay Pacific today released traffic figures for February 2006 that show passenger numbers increased over the same month last year, while cargo got off to a slow start following the Chinese New Year holiday.

The airline carried a total 1,263,435 passengers, a 9.1 percent rise over the same month last year. Demand to Europe and North America was strong, building on the extra capacity now in place to key destinations such as Los Angeles and London. The passenger load factor for the month was 77.1 percent, down 0.3 percentage points on the same month in 2005.

As with January, the shifting date of the Chinese New Year holiday makes a direct year-on-year comparison difficult. February’s passenger growth dipped marginally behind the increase in capacity, measured in terms of available seat kilometres, or ASKs, which was up by 9.6 percent. Yet over the first two months of the year the passenger growth of 12.1 percent was comfortably ahead of capacity growth of 10.5 percent.

The airline carried 86,705 tonnes of cargo in February, up 18.1 percent on the same month last year, ahead of a corresponding 5.4 percent increase in capacity, measured in terms of available cargo/mail tonne kilometres. February’s cargo load factor was 68 percent, reflecting continued directional imbalances as far more goods were shipped from Southern China through Hong Kong than were imported from markets such as the United States, Europe and Australia.

More passenger flights are planned. From April the airline will operate three non-stop flights each week to Penang. Three more weekly flights will operate to Paris and Frankfurt, taking both to 10 services a week. Four more weekly services will operate to Denpasar and two more to Cebu during the peak season, and another two weekly services will operate to Adelaide from June.

Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management, Sales & Distribution Ian Shiu said: “Business in February was quite solid. Front-end traffic remained robust, though strong competition and aggressive pricing is depressing yield for sales in the back end of the aircraft. Currency movements resulting from the strong US dollar are also working against us.”

Cathay Pacific Director & General Manager Cargo Ron Mathison said: “The market saw a very slow recovery after Chinese New Year with orders for new stock coming in later than usual. A lingering uncertainty and nervousness regarding the trade imbalance is putting pressure on yields. While demand for exports out of China appears to be strong there is over-capacity on the return lanes from the US and Europe, resulting in further yield erosion.”

Full February 2006 figures as below:-

Capacity Feb 2006 % Change VS Feb 2005 Cumulative Feb 2006 Cumulative Feb 2005 % Change
RPK (000)
- North Asia778,539 2.1%1,579,086 1,479,749 6.7%
- South East Asia and Middle East 989,035 8.2%2,136,323 1,885,044 13.3%
- Europe1,075,492 10.1%2,334,460 2,130,894 9.6%
- South West Pacific & South Africa965,868 3.3%2,083,489 2,051,250 1.6%
- North America1,411,152 18.2%3,166,101 2,638,354 20.0%
RPK Total (000) 5,220,086 9.2%11,299,459 10,185,291 10.9%
Passengers carried 1,263,435 9.1%2,652,240 2,364,938 12.1%
Cargo and mail tonne km (000) 502,768 12.0%1,039,557 911,718 14.0%
Freight carried (000 kg) 86,705 18.1%178,072 148,349 20.0%
Number of flights 2,687 8.3%5,674 5,128 10.6%

Capacity Feb 2006 % Change VS Feb 2005 Cumulative Feb 2006 Cumulative Feb 2005 % Change
ASK (000)
- North Asia1,072,411 6.4%2,237,357 2,069,398 8.1%
- South East Asia & Middle East1,364,644 4.8%2,951,101 2,730,289 8.1%
- Europe1,308,179 13.5%2,777,543 2,434,425 14.1%
- South West Pacific & South Africa1,195,384 1.1%2,516,968 2,507,328 0.4%
- North America1,832,154 19.5%3,852,404 3,227,256 19.4%
ASK Total (000) 6,772,772 9.6%14,335,373 12,968,696 10.5%
Pax load factor77.1%-0.3pt78.8%78.5%0.3pt
Available cargo & mail tonne km (000) 739,107 5.4%1,606,329 1,459,124 10.1%
Cargo and mail load factor68.0%4.0pt64.7%62.5%2.2pt
ATK (000) 1,383,238 7.3%2,969,767 2,692,778 10.3%

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