Cathay Pacific releases traffic figures for June

A Cathay Pacific flight approaches to land at Kansai Airport in Osaka, Japan.
lasta29, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
4 Min Read

Cathay Pacific and HK Express achieved a significant milestone in July 2023 by collectively transporting over two million passengers in a single month for the first time since the pandemic.

The airlines demonstrated remarkable growth compared to July 2022, with Cathay Pacific carrying a total of 1,744,374 passengers, marking a substantial increase of 693.8%.

Performance overview July 2023

This impressive growth was also reflected in other key metrics:

  • Revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) surged by 421.6% year-on-year.
  • Passenger load factor experienced a significant 16-percentage-point increase, reaching 89.3%.
  • Capacity, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs), rose by an impressive 328.2% compared to the same period in 2022.

The first seven months of 2023 witnessed a staggering 1,622% increase in the number of passengers carried, surpassing the 818.9% increase in capacity and the 1,149% increase in RPKs as compared to the same timeframe in 2022.

A Cathay Pacific aircraft is refuelled with SAF.
Photo Credit: Cathay Pacific


Cargo operations

Cargo operations also demonstrated positive growth across the month:

  • Cargo tonnage increased by 14.9% compared to July 2022.
  • Cargo revenue tonne kilometres (RFTKs) grew by 24.6% year-on-year.
  • Cargo load factor experienced a decrease of 11.2 percentage points to 59.8%.
  • Available cargo tonne kilometres (AFTKs) expanded by 47.9% compared to the previous year.

From January to July 2023, cargo tonnage increased by 22.4%, outpacing the 102.5% increase in capacity and the 71.1% increase in RFTKs compared to the same period in 2022.

Increased route capacity

Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Lavinia Lau expressed satisfaction with the strong demand, particularly during the summer peak.

Increased capacity was added primarily on routes to North America, Europe, Japan, and Southeast Asia, catering to the rising demand for leisure travel and visiting friends and relatives (VFR).

Long-haul and short-haul flights both experienced heightened demand, resulting in a near 90% load factor for July.

E-commerce and the movement of seasonal fresh produce were identified as key contributors to cargo growth, with e-commerce traffic acting as a consistent driver and seasonal produce supporting Cathay Pacific’s Cathay Fresh solution.

Future outlook

Looking forward, the airlines anticipate sustained travel demand through the summer peak in August.

Rebuilding the Cathay Group and connectivity at their home hub remains a focus, with a target of achieving 70% of pre-pandemic passenger flight capacity covering 80 destinations by the end of the year. The airlines aim to reach 100% capacity by the end of 2024.

On the customer experience side, Cathay Pacific is excited to introduce its all-new Business class experience, the Aria Suite, to its long-haul Boeing 777-300ER fleet in the second quarter of the following year.

On the cargo side, while summer volumes are expected to remain steady, an uptick in demand is anticipated from the end of the third quarter, aligning with the traditional peak period for air cargo.

In addition, the Group provided an update on its financial activities, including the payment of dividends and its ongoing commitment to rebuild and enhance its services.

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