Cathay Pacific Airways and Dragonair combined saw tonnage rise by 3.1 per cent in 2016 to 1.85 million tonnes on 2015.
The two Hong Kong operators’ combined cargo and mail revenue tonne kilometres (RTKs) increased 0.8 per cent to 10.6 billion, capacity rose 0.6 per cent to 16.5 billion, while the load factor for last year was up 0.2 percentage points to 64.4 per cent.
Cathay had a strong peak season and in December, the two carriers carried 174,415 tonnes of cargo, an surge of 9.9 per cent compared to December 2015. The cargo and mail load factor rose by 1.6 percentage points to 69.5 per cent. Capacity was up by 3.6 per cent while RTKs increased by 6.1 per cent.
Cathay Pacific general manager cargo for sales and marketing, Mark Sutch says: “The seasonal peak for airfreight carried into December, with exports from Mainland China, Asia and the Americas seeing encouraging year-on-year growth.
“Demand from our home market of Hong Kong was also sustained. Overall tonnage grew ahead of capacity, with our load factor improving month-on- month.
“The demand for perishables, machineries and e-commerce products persisted, while our new freighter services to Portland and Brisbane West Wellcamp have also been well received by the market.”