Cargo up at Cathay Pacific as it closes in on pre-Covid levels

Source: Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific saw its cargo volumes increase again in May as the carrier continued to narrow the gap on 2019 demand levels.

The Hong Kong-hubbed airline group reported a 10.2% increase in cargo carried to 121,088 tonnes, while cargo revenue tonne kms (CTK) improved by 3.8% on last year to 679.2m.

However, these figures lag behind the 168,270 tonnes and 940.2m CTK carried in May 2019.

The drop off compared with 2019 levels is a reflection of lower capacity levels following the Covid pandemic.

In May 2019, the carrier was able to offer 1.5m available CTK compared with 1.1m last month.

However, cargo capacity is creeping back up – last year the airline was able to offer 1.7m available CTK.

The cargo load factor in May was down 2.1 percentage points year on year to 59.4% due to capacity additions outgrowing demand levels.

Speaking of the May results, chief customer and commercial officer Lavinia Lau said the airline had benefitted from rising general cargo and e-commerce demand.

“Cargo demand from Hong Kong and the rest of the Greater Bay Area remained solid throughout May.

“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.”

Looking ahead, demand is expected to remain strong.

“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.”

E-commerce continues to drive up Cathay’s cargo volumes

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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector. After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015. Contact me on [email protected]