Cathay Pacific cargo volumes hold up ahead of peak season

Source: Cathay Pacific

E-commerce continued to lift Cathay Pacific’s cargo demand in August as volumes increased over 10% year on year, but the cargo load factor declined in line with the quieter summer period.

The airline carried 116,919 tonnes of cargo last month, an increase of 11.5% compared with August 2022. The month’s cargo revenue tonne kilometres (RFTKs) increased 13.2% year on year.

Cargo demand was boosted by the return of belly capacity as operations were last year constrained by Covid restrictions.

Meanwhile, the cargo load factor decreased by 8.2 percentage points to 58.8%, while capacity, measured in available cargo tonne kilometres (AFTKs), increased by 29% year on year.

In the first eight months of 2023, the tonnage increased by 20.8% against an 87.8% increase in capacity and a 60.5% increase in RFTKs, as compared with the same period for 2022.

Chief customer and commercial officer Lavinia Lau said: “Turning to our cargo business, August saw similar levels of demand and tonnage carried as July, as we continued through the traditionally quieter season for air cargo. As has been the case for a number of months now, e-commerce remains a bright spot for the business with tonnage continuing to see positive growth.”

The passenger business carried on its upward trajectory with the benefit of increased capacity, a continued boost for belly capacity. Cathay Pacific carried a total of 1,784,980 passengers last month, an increase of 603% compared with August 2022.

Looking ahead, Lau said that demand is starting to pick up at the beginning of what is traditionally the peak period of the year.

“For cargo, September marks the start of the traditional peak period and we are seeing demand beginning to pick up well as businesses plan ahead for consumer sales events such as ‘Singles’ Day’ in the Chinese Mainland and ‘Black Friday’ in long-haul markets, as well as new consumer product launches that are on the horizon.”

E-commerce and fresh shipments support Cathay Pacific volumes

Cathay Pacific reports lower cargo revenues in H1

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Rebecca Jeffrey

Rebecca Jeffrey
New to aviation journalism, I joined Air Cargo News in late 2021 as deputy editor. I previously worked for Mercator Media’s six maritime sector magazines as a reporter, heading up news for Port Strategy. Prior to this, I was editor for Recruitment International (now TALiNT International). Contact me on: [email protected]