Cathay volume drops 16.7% in February
A day after Cathay Pacific Airways announced a record loss for 2008, it said February saw another “pronounced fall” in cargo volumes.
Cathay and sister airline Dragonair saw tonnage fall 16.7 percent during the month, to 100,906 tons, while capacity fell by the same percentage. The airline’s load factor rose 0.1 percentage points to 64.7 percent. Year to date, tonnage has fallen 19.4 percent compared to a capacity drop of 16.3 percent.
“The air freight market remained weak in February, though our figures look a little better than last month due to the Chinese New Year effect,” said Titus Diu, general manager or cargo sales and marketing. “There was no sustained post-holiday pickup this year and many of the factories in the Pearl and Yangtze River Deltas remained closed for much longer than usual. The market out of Hong Kong remained depressed throughout February though there was a slightly better performance for inbound traffic. We are continuing to look for new revenue streams and on March 6 launched a new service to Miami and Houston.”
Cathay said Wednesday it lost $1.1 billion in 2008, with the cargo division hurt by high fuel prices in the first half of the year and low demand in the second half.