Cathay announces fall in February cargo volumes

Cathay Pacific and sister carrier Dragonair moved a total of 117,299 tonnes of cargo and mail in February, a 10.1% fall on the same month of last year. With capacity, as measured in available cargo/mail tonne kilometres, rising by 1.1%, and the cargo and mail revenue tonne kilometres (RTKs) figure falling by 10.4%. the cargo and mail load factor fell as a consequence by 7.5 percentage points to 58.0%.
Cathay Pacific’s general manager cargo sales & marketing, Mark Sutch, remarked: “Airfreight demand dropped away sharply in the early part of the month as factories in Mainland China closed down for the Chinese New Year holiday. In comparison to the holiday period last year, demand was much slower in picking up after factories reopened, which led to a higher concentration of lower-yield cargo from Southeast Asia and India being uplifted onto our transpacific freighter flights. The sustained drop in fuel prices has led to older aircraft becoming more economically viable. The resulting overcapacity continues to put downward pressure on cargo yields.”
Over the course of the first two months of 2016, cargo volumes carried by the two airlines of the Cathay Pacific Group fell year-on-year by 4.6%. Against a 1.8% increase in capacity, there was a 5.2% drop in RTKs.
Many Asia-Pacific carriers and cargo gateways have suffered in recent months as the airfreight sector there has stagnated somewhat. The weakness of international trade flows through the region have been held largely to blame.
Dragonair is soon to be rebranded as Cathay Dragon, in order to more closely align the two brands. They will nevertheless continue to operate as separate carriers under their own licences.

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