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Cathay Pacific Cargo

From its origins as a small regional freight operator established in 1946, Cathay Pacific Airways has grown to become one of the world’s leading international air cargo carriers. Cathay Pacific’s cargo business currently accounts for around 30% of its annual revenues, and has helped to build Hong Kong into the world’s busiest air cargo hub. All of Cathay Pacific’s cargo operations are grouped under its Cathay Pacific Cargo unit.

Cathay Pacific Cargo currently has a fleet of 25 Boeing 747 freighters, namely six 747-400Fs, eight 747-400BCFs (Boeing Converted Freighter), six 747-400ERFs (Extended Range Freighter) and five 747-8 freighters. The airline has five more 747-8Fs on firm order, three of which are scheduled to arrive in 2012 and two more in 2013. Eight Boeing 777-200 freighters have also been ordered for delivery between 2013 and 2016.

Cathay Pacific Cargo also utilises cargo space on Cathay Pacific’s 109 passenger aircraft. The cargo unit carries more than 120,000 tonnes of cargo per month, with more than half being uplifted on passenger flights.

Cathay Pacific Cargo freighters currently fly to 41 destinations around the world. The airline’s long-haul dedicated cargo services started in 1981 with a twice-a-week Hong Kong-Frankfurt-London service operated jointly with Lufthansa. Today Cathay Pacific Cargo operates scheduled freighter servcies to worldwide destinations that include Anchorage, Amsterdam, Atlanta, Bengaluru, Bangkok, Brussels, Chengdu, Chennai, Chongqing, Chicago, Dallas, Dhaka, Dubai, Frankfurt, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Houston, Jakarta, London, Los Angeles, Manchester, Melbourne, Miami, Milan, Mumbai, New Dehli, New York, Osaka, Paris, Penang, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney, Taipei, Tokyo, Toronto, Vancouver, Xiamen, Zaragoza and Zhenghou.

Cathay Pacific Cargo’s website, provides cargo agents and other customers a host of online services. These include the ability to make online shipment bookings and change specifications of bookings at any time, check space allocation, and view the space utilisation of a particular flight and date. Through the site, customers can view their shipment “log-book” to access information on shipment history and assignment movements, track the progress of a shipment and receive notifications through email of the shipment status.

The site also provides information on cargo products, details about Cathay Pacific’s network, schedules, worldwide cargo office contact numbers and addresses, and information about the Cargo Clan Elite Club and Cargo Express.

In February 2003, Cathay Pacific Cargo, together with Japan Airlines Cargo, Qantas Freight and Singapore Airlines Cargo, announced a new partnership with the new internet-based cargo portal - Ezycargo - to expand their e-business capabilities. Ezycargo offers customers a wide range of market specific online functions and  improves the visibility and efficiency of the shipping process.

Customers are able to make allotment and free-sale bookings, conduct tracking and tracing, review flight schedules and make multi-carrier, multi-airway bill  shipments on the four carriers through Ezycargo.com.

Cathay Pacific is committed to helping industry body IATA reach its goal of e-freight worldwide. From 1 January 2011, the airline switched to 100% electronic air waybills (e-AWB) in the Hong Kong market and will complete the full rollout of e-AWB to all Cathay Pacific and Dragonair ports by the end of 2012.

The new Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) is scheduled to begin operations in early 2013. The HK$5.7 billion facility will be one of the biggest and most sophisticated terminals in the world, providing additional air cargo handling capacity and facilities that will help to further reinforce Hong Kong’s position as the world's premier international airfreight hub.

The airline’s wholly owned subsidiary, Cathay Pacific Services Ltd (CPSL), was awarded a franchise to invest in, design, construct and operate the new air cargo terminal at HKIA under a 20-year agreement. The new terminal has been designed for an annual air cargo throughput capacity of 2.6 million tones and will be a common-use facility open to all airline customers.

The Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal will set new standards in operational efficiency, environmental design and service levels.

Cathay Pacific Cargo has developed a wide range of service options to meet the growing needs of its customers. Cathay Pacific Cargo products include Pharma LIFT, Priority LIFT, DG LIFT, Fresh LIFT, Live Animal LIFT, Secure LIFT, Courier LIFT, Expert LIFT, Cathay Pacific Wholesale Courier (OBC),  Retail Parcel Express (RPX), and CX/DHL Overnight Express Network (OEO). These services help customers’ packages and cargo arrive faster and more safely.

Cathay Pacific’s Cargo Clan Elite (CCE) Club was launched in July 1994 to recognise and reward the airline’s most valued cargo professionals. CCE members enjoy a wide range of exclusive privileges in all Cathay Pacific and Dragonair’s destinations. These include special networking lunches, invitations to events, and special benefits when travelling on Cathay Pacific and Dragonai, such as advanced seat reservation, online check-in , excess baggage allowance, priority baggage handling, and access to Cathay Pacific and Dragonair airport lounges worldwide.

Air Hong Kong is the only dedicated freighter airline based in Hong Kong. In October 2002, Cathay Pacific entered into a business partnership with DHL Express to develop the express freight network in Asia. Air Hong Kong now serves Bangkok, Penang, Singapore, Taipei, Narita, Kansai, Nagoya, Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing and Manila.

Air Hong Kong was the launch customer of a fleet of eight Airbus A300-600F General Freighters which entered into service between September 2004 and July 2006. In May 2011 AHK received a capacity boost by dry leasing three Boeing 747-400 Boeing Converted Freighter aircraft which more than doubled capacity on three of the carrier’s busiest routes - Singapore, Narita and Shanghai. 

DHL Express is the major customer of AHK and the bulk of the cargo is express parcels. The remaining cargo is general freight.

Air Hong Kong operations benefit businesses both in Hong Kong and around Asia by offering superior services via the Hong Kong hub and contribute to making Hong Kong the leading air cargo hub and logistics centre in Asia.


  • Cathay Pacific Airways registered in Hong Kong
  • First commercial flight as Cathay Pacific is the carriage of 2,000 day-old chicks from Sydney to Manila.
  • Cargo and passenger flights operated between Hong Kong and Manila, Bangkok and Singapore
  • Cargo uplift in the airline's first year of operation was 15 tonnes


  • Cathay Pacific cargo carried 769 tonnes


  • Cargo carried totalled 5,600 tonnes


  • Cargo carried totalled 37,300 tonnes


  • A converted B707 passenger aircraft become the airline’s first dedicated freighter. It operated from Singapore to Tokyo, via Hong Kong and Taiwan.


  • Cargo carried totalled 86,200 tonnes


  • First B747-200 Freighter acquired
  • Joint venture Hong Kong-Frankfurt-London-Hong Kong service inaugurated with Lufthansa


  • CUBIC cargo booking and information system inaugurated


  • Second B747-200 Freighter acquired


  • Cathay Pacific placed an order for two B747-400 Freighters
  • Cargo carried totalled 280,500 tonnes


  • Third B747-200 Freighter acquired
  • Co-operative cargo agreement signed with Air France and dedicated freighter service to Paris inaugurated
  • Global Logistics System TRAXON established with Air France, Japan Airlines and Lufthansa
  • Cargo carried totalled 314,678 tonnes


  • Fourth B747-200 Freighter entered service
  • Dedicated freighter service to Los Angeles via Anchorage inaugurated.
  • Cargo carried totalled 349,339 tonnes


  • Dedicated freighter service to Bahrain and Vancouver launched


  • New freighter service to Bombay launched
  • First 747-400 Freighter delivered in June
  • Airbus A340-300 passenger aircraft with high cargo capacity start to join the fleet


  • Second B747-400 Freighter delivered in July
  • Dedicated freighter services to Toronto via Anchorage launched in July
  • Cargo carried totalled 531,321 tonnes


  • Dedicated freighter services to New York and Chicago launched
  • Record uplift of 31 tonnes of cargo an A330-300 departing Perth
  • Cathay Pacific Cargo website launched
  • 568,000 tonnes of cargo carried


  • 635,000 tonnes of cargo carried


  • 580,000 tonnes of cargo carried


  • Cathay Pacific and DHL Worldwide sign a landmark deal for a joint cargo operation
  • Cathay Pacific orders two new Boeing 747-400 freighters for delivery in September 2000 and August 2001


  • Another new Boeing 747-400 Freighter is ordered for delivery in April 2001
  • Cathay Pacific becomes the first customer for the new SuperLink China Direct delivery service provided by Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (Hactl)
  • Delivery of the first of Cathay Pacific’s three new B747-400 Freighters takes place in Seattle
  • Added three new cargo destinations namely Penang, Delhi and San Francisco
  • Relaunch of Cathay Pacific Cargo website with enhanced e-tools
  • Cathay Pacific Cargo and DHL Worldwide Express commenced a joint operation providing overnight cargo and passenger flights to four Asian destinations, namely Osaka, Seoul, Taipei and Singapore
  • Delivery of a further B747-400 Freighter in Seattle in September


  • B747-400 Freighter arrives in Hong Kong in August


  • Cathay Pacific makes Air Hong Kong a wholly own subsidiary
  • Launch of the Milan freighter service
  • Cathay Pacific announced joint venture agreement with DHL and in which DHL acquired a 30% stake in AHK


  • Cathay Pacific sold additional 10% stake in AHK to DHL
  • Launch of the Osaka and Singapore freighter service
  • Launch of Ezycargo cargo portal in Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia


  • Launch of the Munich joint-venture freighter service with Lufthansa
  • Launch of Ezycargo in Japan, New Zealand, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and China


  • Latest B747-400 Freighter delivered from Boeing in February
  • Launch of the Shanghai freighter service
  • Launch of Ezycargo in Thailand andTaiwan
  • Launch of Dallas and Atlantas freighter service on 19 November
  • Cathay Pacific is the world’s first airline to take delivery of the 747-400BCF, Boeing Converted Freighter – a freighter converted from a  passenger aircraft. The airline placed a firm order for six such aircraft with options on six more.
  • Airline for the first time carries more than one million tonnes of cargo.



  • Launch of the Chennai freighter service in June
  • Cathay Pacific makes its biggest ever commitment for new freighter aircraft with an order for six Boeing 747-400ERF, Extended Range Freighters
  • Expansion of freighter services to Dallas and Atlanta with an additional flight from Hong Kong every Monday
  • Launch of Stockholm and Toronto freighter services in September
  • Launch of Beijing freighter service in November
  • Expansion of Hong Kong Shanghai freighter service from December with additional 5 five more flights a week



  • Cathay Pacific Cargo adds 11 more freighter flights each week to 3 major cities in Europe: Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Manchester.
  • Additional freighter flights to Dallas and Atlanta in the United States
  • Cathay Pacific carried ‘Flame of Hope’ for 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games
  • Cathay Pacific announces its biggest-ever purchase commitment for new aircraft, placing firm orders for 10 Boeing 747-8 Freighters and a further seven Boeing 777-300ER passenger aircraft directly from the Boeing Company. The airline has also taken up purchase rights for another 14 of thew new freighters type.



  • Cathay Pacific to expand freighter network to Hanoi in Vietnam and Dhaka in Bangladesh.
  • Cathay Pacific Services Ltd awarded new cargo terminal franchise in Hong Kong.
  • Ceremony marks groundbreaking of new Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal on 5Sept.
  • Cathay Pacific signs agreement for data interchange with DHL global forwarding.
  • Cathay Pacific Cargo launches new cargo product, Pharma LIFT, to cater for pharmaceutical shipments.


  • Cathay Pacific launches new freighter services to Miami and Houston in the United States on 6 March.


  • Launch of Cathay Pacific first round-the-world freighter service.
  • Cathay Pacific becomes the world’s biggest international air-cargo carrier according to the Airports Council International.


  • From 1 January 2011, Cathay Pacific switches to 100% electronic air waybills in the Hong Kong market.
  • Cathay Pacific launches twice-weekly freighter service from Chennai to Frankfurt and new twice-weekly freighter service from Hong Kong to Bengaluru, via Delhi.
  • Topping out ceremony for Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal.
  • An order is placed for eight Boeing 777-200Fs for delivery between 2013 and 2016.
  • Airline takes delivery of the first of 10 highly efficient Boeing 747-8Fs on order.
  • Freighter services to Chongqing and Chengdu, fast-growing manufacturing centres in Western China, launched.
  • Zaragoza in Spain launches as latest freighter destination.


  • New service to Zhengzhou in Central China launches.