Cathay Pacific ramps up freighter network ahead of strong peak season

By Damian Brett

Cathay Pacific ramped up its freighter network to peak season levels in August, while two previously announced preighter aircraft have also joined its fleet.

In its latest monthly traffic update, the Hong Kong-hubbed airline said that ahead of what is expected to be a busy peak season – and on the back of a bouyant August – it had ramped up its freighter schedule and introduced two extra B777 preighter aircraft, bringing its fleet of passenger aircraft with seats removed to six.

Chief customer and commercial officer Ronald Lam said: “While August is traditionally a quieter month for cargo due to the summer holiday period in the Northern Hemisphere, this was not the case this year and demand continued to be buoyant both from our home market, Hong Kong, and from across our network.

“Towards the end of the month our freighter schedule ramped up to peak season levels, with transpacific flights notably increasing to 39 flights per week. Two additional Boeing 777 “preighters” have also now entered into service, bringing our total to six, providing us with additional capacity for carrying cargo.”

The carrier’s overall cargo capacity increased about 9% month on month in August, reaching approximately 66% of its August 2019 pre-pandemic levels.

The airline carried 124,278 tonnes of cargo and mail last month, an increase of 21.7% compared to August 2020, but a 23% decrease compared with the same period in 2019.

Looking ahead, Lam said: “For cargo, market indicators suggest a strong peak season driven by the need for inventory replenishment, against a backdrop of ongoing air capacity constraints and disruptions to supply chains due to seaport congestion.

“We are planning for this, whilst remaining vigilant regarding changes to the Covid-19 situation that could impact operations.”

Meanwhile, the carrier also announced today that it aimed to use Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) for 10% of its total fuel consumption by 2030 as part of efforts to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

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