Strong November for Cathay Pacific, but down on 2019

Cathay Pacific recorded a 15.8% increase in cargo volumes in November. Copyright: Cathay Pacific

Beaujolais wine and cherries shipments helped Cathay Pacific record a 15.8% increase in cargo volumes in November due to “consistently robust” demand, but the airline still saw a 23.9% decrease compared with the same period in 2019.

The Hong Kong-based carrier handled 135,350 tonnes of cargo last month as November’s cargo revenue tonne kilometres (RFTKs) rose 15.5% year-on-year, but down 14% compared to November 2019.

Chief customer and commercial officer, Ronald Lam, said: “November delivered an exceptionally strong cargo peak period, as expected.

“Air cargo demand was consistently robust across our markets. In addition to underlying air cargo demand remaining strong, we also carried products that would usually be shipped by sea as retailers looked to replenish low inventories to meet customer demand.

“Inbound demand to our hub was also healthy as seasonal products, such as Beaujolais wine from France to Japan and cherries from the Southern Hemisphere to Asia, were shipped throughout the month.”

The cargo load factor increased by 4.3 percentage points to 82.6%, while capacity, measured in available cargo tonne kilometres (AFTKs), was up by 9.5% year-on-year, but was down 28.6% versus November 2019.

In the first 11 months of 2021, the tonnage decreased by 1.1% against a 12.5% drop in capacity and a 2.3% decrease in RFTKs, compared to the same period for 2020.

Lam added: “To provide more capacity for our customers, we managed to operate approximately 71% of our pre-pandemic cargo capacity compared to November 2019, which was the highest level since the onset of the pandemic.

“We operated a record-high 1,035 pairs of cargo-only passenger flights. We re-commenced our seasonal cargo service between Hobart and Hong Kong towards the end of November, providing an opportunity for Tasmanian producers to easily access key Asian markets directly.

“We also launched our new digital cargo-booking platform, Click & Ship, which is being progressively rolled out across our network. The platform promises booking transparency and speed, enabling customers to view prices and capacity, and book cargo shipments with instant confirmation.”

On its cargo outlook, Lam said that the strong peak season is expected to last well into December.

“We expect to operate our full freighter schedule as planned for the rest of the month. Nevertheless, we continue to face operational challenges and we remain agile in planning our cargo flight schedule.”

Cathay Pacific Cargo outlines transpacific ULD challenges

Cathay’s new Click & Ship cargo platform for instant booking

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