Cathay Cargo sees revenues weaken in 2022

Source: Cathay Pacific Cargo

Cathay Pacific saw its cargo revenues decline by double-digit percentage levels last year as Covid restrictions affected operations.

The airline reported a 16.6% fall in cargo revenues to HK$26.9bn in 2022 while cargo revenue tonne kms (CRTK) fell 29.8% year on year to 5.7bn and capacity was down 19% to 8.2bn cargo tonne km.

As a result of capacity falling at a lower rate than demand, the cargo load factor was down 10.8 percentage points to 70.6%.

Meanwhile, yield increased by 18.5% to HK$4.67. 

The first half of the year was particularly affected by covid lockdown and quarantine restrictions, which began to be eased on May 1.

The restrictions resulted in the carrier having to massively reduce its freighter operations in the opening months of the year.

Chief executive Ronald Lam said: “Our travel and cargo operations in 2022 were constrained by travel restrictions and quarantine requirements for both travellers and Hong Kong-based aircrew that were in place in Hong Kong until the Hong Kong SAR Government began introducing progressive adjustments from 1st May onwards.

“These adjustments enabled us to gradually resume more flights, especially between October and December.”

He added: “On the cargo side, we resumed operating a full freighter schedule in August. As we added more passenger flights, the additional belly capacity provided by our passenger aircraft enabled us to offer more options to our cargo customers. By the end of the year, the Group was operating about two-thirds of pre-pandemic cargo flight capacity levels.”

The carrier is hoping to have cargo capacity back up to 85% of pre-pandemic levels by the end of this year.

On outlook, the carrier highlighted the expansion of Hong Kong International Airport with a third runway and also its continued efforts to build links with the Greater Bay Area (GBA).

“Cathay Pacific Cargo and Cathay Pacific Services Limited became the first carrier and cargo terminal operator, respectively, to have cargo shipments accepted in Dongguan Logistics Park [in the GBA] and transported to HKIA by ship for outbound airfreight in February 2023,” said Lam.

“This also involved establishing our own upstream bonded facility – the Cathay Cargo Terminal Dongguan – located at the Bestar Logistics Centre in Dongguan.”

Meanwhile, the overall airline swung to an operating profit of HK$3.5bn in 2022.

Revenues jumped 12% to HK$51bn in the 12 months to 31 December 2022, and net losses widened to HK$6.5bn.

Cathay noted that its second half was significantly better than its first half, and that the poor net result was largely due to weakness at associates during 2022.

Asia-Europe air cargo market still in recovery

Cathay Pacific outlines “substantial” freighter flight cuts in Q1

Cathay Pacific Group delves into intermodal cargo operations


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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]