The airline appears to be recovering steadily.
As it works to rebuild and restore connections at the Hong Kong international aviation hub, Cathay Pacific’s most recent stats for January revealed a significant increase in passenger counts compared to the prior year.
The airline is optimistic about strong development in the passenger segment in the upcoming months despite a minor dip in cargo compared to the previous month.
Increase in passengers of 4,00% from year to year
For the first time since the epidemic began, Cathay Pacific’s traffic data for January 2023 showed a monthly passenger count of one million. 1,031,893 passengers were flown by the airline, up 4,077.9% from January 2022. Other monthly metrics, such as revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs), which rose by 3,807.3% compared to the previous year, were also encouraging.
The passenger load factor climbed by 46.4 percentage points to 86.8%, and available seat kilometers (ASKs), a measure of capacity, increased by 1,717.1% annually. Lavinia Lau, the company’s chief customer and commercial officer, said,
“We ran 18% more capacity than we did in December 2022 and carried on average more than 33,000 passengers daily, up from roughly 26,000 daily in December 2022. Our flights to Phuket and Xi’an resumed in January as we continued to add destinations.
The demand for travel into the Chinese Mainland, both from and through Hong Kong, rose after the reintroduction of quarantine-free travel between Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland on January 8. By the end of the month, we were running up to three return flights per day to Shanghai and 11 return flights per week to Beijing as a result of boosting our flight capacity. Variable cargo
Beginning in January, the airline’s cargo stats increased as demand increased just before the Lunar New Year vacation. Good levels of air freight were transported during the first half of January, but the trend changed during the second half.
Lau claimed that while industries halted for the holidays, demand overall slowed. However, the airline anticipated this and adjusted its freighter capacity ahead of time to account for the decreased demand.
As cargo flight capacity reduced 4% from the previous month, Cathay Pacific’s tonnage fell 11% month over month in January. The load factor was somewhat higher than 60% overall.
In the upcoming months, particularly in the days before the Easter vacation, Cathay Pacific is optimistic about a sustained rebound. It anticipates an increase in point-to-point and connecting flights via Hong Kong to and from the Chinese Mainland.
The airline plans to run more than 100 round-trip flights a week to 14 locations on the Chinese Mainland by the end of February. Moreover, Cathay Pacific just reopened its “The Deck” club in Hong Kong on February 6th with enhanced flight operations and loosened travel regulations. Ideally, these patterns will hold into 2023 as the airline makes slow but steady progress toward recovery.