Cathay records smallest fall this year

CATHAY Pacific Airway’s cargo fell 10 per cent in June from last year, the lowest so far for 2009. Both Cathay Pacific and Dragonair carried a total of 123,860 tonnes of cargo and mail with load factors rising 3.8 per cent to 71.3 per cent. Capacity for the month, measured in available cargo/mail tonne kilometres, was down on last year by 14.3 per cent. For the year to date, tonnage has fallen by 15.4 per cent compared to a capacity drop of 14.1 per cent.

Cathay Pacific general manager cargo sales and marketing, Titus Diu, said: “June cargo traffic was still down year on year, though the monthly drop was the lowest so far in 2009 and the tonnage decline was behind the cut in cargo capacity. There are signs that the airfreight market has bottomed out, though as yet we are not seeing any sustained upswing in demand. Competition in the various cargo markets we serve remain fierce and as such yield remains under considerable pressure.”

Cathay’s chief executive officer, Tony Tyler (right), said in a company newsletter: “The best we can say about our business at the moment…is that things may now have stopped getting worse. But we can’t even be certain about that. Certainly the flu threat is receding, which is very welcome, but the economic indicators are still highly uncertain.”

Tyler added that there was “an unsettling lack of visibility” for future predictions in the company’s cargo traffic.

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