Boeing delays will leave Cathay short

CATHAY Pacific’s freighter fleet may shrink next year due to delivery delays of Boeing’s 747-8 freighter. The new model freighter was due for delivery in January 2011 but the latest date is now estimated to be August.

The airline is said to be considering short-term plane leases to replace the missing aircraft.

Cathay Pacific and Dragonair carried 146,152 tonnes of cargo and mail last month, up 9.6 per cent on September last year. The cargo and mail load factor was 69.8 per cent, a drop of 4.6 per cent, while capacity, measured in available cargo/mail tonne kilometres, was up by 25.4 per cent. For the year-to-date, tonnage has grown by 20.5 per cent compared to a capacity increase of 12.7 per cent.

Cathay Pacific general manager cargo sales and marketing, James Woodrow, said: “We increased our capacity in September in preparation for the upcoming cargo peak, with all our freighters back in operation and a number of frequencies added on key trunk routes. Demand was up compared to September 2009, but at the same time we saw a significant increase in competitor capacity to Europe and North America. This led to a decrease in our overall load factor to below 70 per cent.”

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