Cathay Pacific expects intense cargo competition over the summer

Source: Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific is expecting an increasingly competitive air cargo market over the summer months and will add new freighter flights to North America as its belly operations continue to roll out.

The carrier’s chief customer and commercial officer Lavinia Lau said that the carrier would add extra freighter flights to Toronto and Miami over the summer.

“The summer months are traditionally slower and any significant pick-up in demand is not expected until the end of the third quarter,” she said. “We also anticipate more intense competition as overall cargo demand lags behind supply.

“As we rebuild our capacity through the expansion of the widebody passenger network, we will continue to source new demand and optimise our freighter schedules accordingly.

“Toronto and Miami will receive additional freighter capacity as a result.”

Meanwhile, the carrier continues to report improvements in cargo volumes as it continues to restart passenger and cargo operations following lockdowns in Hong Kong last year.

However, the airline warned that the overall cargo market remained flat and its capacity is increasing at a faster rate than cargo traffic.

“Market volume remained largely flat in May,” said Lau. “High-tech demand and new consumer product shipments continued to underperform due to elevated inventory levels.

“However, the e-commerce market remained relatively active and, in the special solution segment, aircraft engine volumes improved as passenger services resumed.”

In May, the carrier saw cargo tonne kms increase by 73.4% year on year to 654m as it added capacity and extended flight distances – the airline largely concentrated on intra-Asia demand during last year’s Covid restrictions. 

Available cargo capacity for the month increased by 113.6% to 1.1bn available cargo tonne km and as a result load factors declined by 14.2 percentage points to 61.5%.  

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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]