Cathay Pacific and wholly owned subsidiary Dragonair saw freight volumes plunge 6.9 percent, year-over-year, to 122,351 tonnes in August. Although a relatively steep decline, the drop is less dramatic than the 10.5 percent, year-over-year, cargo decline the carriers recorded in July. Cathay Pacific’s cargo manager James Woodrow expects to see even more improvement in September.
“We expect to see some increase in demand from mid-September onwards, driven by the shipment of high-tech products from the key manufacturing centers in Mainland China,” Woodrow said in a statement.
August, however, is a traditionally weak month for cargo — “and this year was no exception,” Woodrow said. In addition to reporting sluggish freight volumes, Cathay Pacific and Dragonair saw cargo and mail load factor slide 3 percent, year-over-year, to 61.9 percent, in August. To compensate for lagging demand, the carriers offered 6.1 percent less freight capacity than in August 2011.
Cargo problems have plagued Cathay Pacific and Dragonair all year long. From an eight-month perspective, the combined carriers recorded a 9.6 percent, year-over-year, decline in freight volumes amid a 5.5 percent, year-over-year, capacity drop. Cathay Pacific and Dragonair’s cargo and mail load factor also took a nosedive in the first eight months of 2012, falling 3.7 percent, year-over-year, to 64 percent.
Despite these declines, the carriers have seen an uptick in passenger volumes. Cathay Pacific and Dragonair transported 2,610,150 passengers in August, a 4 percent, year-over-year, increase. This improvement is in line with the higher passenger traffic the carriers have seen throughout 2012; passenger volumes rose 6.7 percent, year-over-year, in the first eight months of the year.