Cathay’s strong volume continues in October
Air freight volume of Cathay Pacific and sister airline rose 15.7 percent in October to 164,927 tons.
Year-to-date, tonnage has grown 19.9 percent, compared to a capacity increase of 14.2 percent. In October, Cathay's cargo load factor was 75.1 percent, a drop of 1.6 percent.
“The cargo peak season kicked in last month, with very strong demand out of Hong Kong on all major trunk routes,' said James Woodrow, Cathay Pacific general manager of cargo sales and marketing. 'Demand into Japan and Australia was a high as a result of the strong currencies in both countries, and we put on additional capacity out of Hanoi and Dhaka in response to an increase in export shipments. October saw a big increase in capacity over the same month in 2009, and though back to our full freighter schedule we mounted extra sectors where possible to meet market demand.”
Cathay also said Monday in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that its 2010 profit attributable to shareholders will not be less than a record $1.6 billion.
Cathay said better than expected demand in the cargo and passenger segments was the primary reason for the improved profit forecast.
The forecast includes $279 million from the sale of its interests in Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Ltd. (Hactl) and Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Co. Ltd. (HAECO), and the European Commission’s recent imposition of a $79 million fine on the airline for its role in a price-fixing investigation.
“We are expecting an outstanding financial result following a very difficult period brought about by the global financial crisis,' Cathay Chief Executive Tony Tyler said Monday. 'We are of course delighted to be so handsomely in the black, but the dramatic turnaround in our fortunes serves to illustrate yet again the volatile and cyclical nature of our business.
“Two years ago we suffered a record loss — this year we expect to make a record profit. This only goes to show that we must manage our business prudently, so that we are able to thrive in the good times and survive the bad times.”
Tyler said cost management remains a key.
'We are in a very capital- and people-intensive business, and managing our costs sensibly is an absolute imperative for the competitiveness of an airline like ours that is wholly commercial and receives no government financial support or subsidy,' he said. 'We have announced very substantial investment commitments over the next decade to grow the airline. 'If we don't stay competitive, we won’t make money in the good times — and we won’t be able to protect jobs in the bad times.” ' Eric Johnson