Cathay Pacific rebuilds connectivity at HKIA


Cathay Pacific has released its traffic figures for May 2023, which show the airline continues to make good progress as it rebuilds flight connectivity at the Hong Kong international aviation hub.

The airline carried 109,834 tonnes of cargo last month, an increase of 18.8% compared with May 2022, when our cargo capacity was significantly reduced due to stricter aircrew quarantine measures. The month’s cargo revenue tonne kilometres (RFTKs) increased 73.4% year on year. The cargo load factor decreased by 14.2 percentage points to 61.5%, while capacity, measured in available cargo tonne kilometres (AFTKs), increased by 113.6% year on year. In the first five months of 2023, the tonnage increased by 28.2% against a 154.6% increase in capacity and a 107.2% increase in RFTKs, as compared with the same period for 2022.

“Turning to our cargo business, market volume remained largely flat in May. High-tech demand and new consumer product shipments continued to underperform due to elevated inventory levels. However, the e-commerce market remained relatively active and, in the special solution segment, aircraft engine volumes improved as passenger services resumed,” Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Lavinia Lau said.

“In terms of cargo, the summer months are traditionally slower and any significant pick-up in demand is not expected until the end of the third quarter. We also anticipate more intense competition as overall cargo demand lags behind supply. As we rebuild our capacity through the expansion of the widebody passenger network, we will continue to source new demand and optimise our freighter schedules accordingly. Toronto and Miami will receive additional freighter capacity as a result.

“The Cathay Group has seen a strong rebound in the performance of our airlines. Our cash flow has continued to improve; further to being overall operating cash generative in 2022, the Group has been operating cash generative so far in 2023. In addition, as mentioned in our 2022 Annual Report, the Group will recognise a one-off non-cash gain, estimated to be approximately HK$1.9 billion, in the first half of 2023 as a result of a deemed disposal of our interest in Air China Limited from 18.13% to 16.26%. Taking all of the above into account, together with the offsetting impact of the results from associates, which are reported three months in arrears, we expect that the Group will deliver a consolidated profit for the first half of 2023.”