Cathay Pacific suffers decline in January’s cargo

Cathay Pacific Group saw its cargo volumes fall in January compared to the same month of 2018.

Cathay Pacific and sister carrier Cathay Dragon carried a total of 166,735 tonnes of cargo and mail last month, a fall of 3.4% year on year.

Capacity, as measured in available freight tonne-kilometres, increased by 0.8% but traffic, as measured in cargo and mail revenue freight tonne-kilometres, decreased by 5.2%.

As a result, the cargo and mail load factor fell by 3.8 percentage points to 61.6%.

Cathay Pacific director commercial and cargo Ronald Lam explained: “Chinese New Year this year was earlier than last, leading to a slight distortion in both passenger and cargo revenue for January and February.

“Cargo uplift gradually picked up before Chinese New Year but the pre-holiday rush was not as strong as last year.

“As a result, our cargo revenue recorded small negative year-on-year growth in January. Some short-term capacity rationalisation was made to better match demand,” Lam informed.

Upbeat

In a more welcome development, the Cathay board has announced that, based on a preliminary review on the unaudited consolidated management accounts of the group for the year that ended December 31, as well as other information currently available to it, the group is expected to record a consolidated profit attributable to shareholders of approximately HK$2.3bn for 2018.

This compares favourably to an attributable loss to shareholders of HK$1,259m in 2017.

The carrier benefited last year from “strong” cargo business, as well as an improvement in its passenger operations.

Moreover, the Company’s transformation programme has had a “positive impact”, a statement declared.

These 2018 financial results are only preliminary in nature, it should be remembered.