Cathay Pacific: Strong Passenger and Cargo Growth in March 2024

A Cathay Pacific Airbus A320neo in flight.
Photo Credit: Cathay Group

Cathay Pacific enjoyed a surge in travel demand during March 2024, driven by both inbound and outbound traffic.

Notably, both passenger numbers and cargo uplift both saw respectable growth in terms of monthly and year-on-year performance.

Passenger Performance in March

The Easter holiday period fueled a rise in passenger numbers, with particularly strong student travel from the United Kingdom.

Additionally, numerous exhibitions and events in Hong Kong, including the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show and Art Basel, attracted travelers seeking premium cabin experiences.

Cathay Pacific carried a total of 1,883,404 passengers in March 2024, an increase of 42.4% compared with March 2023.

The month’s revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) increased 38.1% year on year. Passenger load factor decreased by 6.6 percentage points to 83.8%.

The airline’s decision to resume direct flights between Bangkok and Singapore further boosted passenger options, offering convenient connections for regional travel.

Cargo Shows Positive Growth

Cargo figures also showed positive growth in March, with a 26% increase compared to February 2024 and an 11% rise year-on-year.

The post-Chinese New Year factory reopening in Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland, coupled with an end-of-quarter e-commerce and express shipment rush, contributed to this positive performance.

Cathay Pacific’s extensive network and expertise in handling time-sensitive goods proved to be valuable assets in meeting this demand.

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

Looking Ahead: Golden Week and Beyond

Cathay Pacific anticipates a healthy increase in travel demand during the upcoming Chinese Mainland Labor Day “Golden Week” holiday period.

To cater to this surge, the airline group plans to increase its Chinese Mainland frequencies to approximately 200 round-trip flights per week.

This strategic move demonstrates Cathay Pacific’s commitment to providing seamless travel experiences for passengers flying between the Mainland and other destinations within its network.

E-commerce is expected to remain a strong driver of cargo demand, with overall air cargo demand projected to remain stable on long-haul routes.

Cathay Pacific is well-positioned to capitalize on this trend. Its position is reinforced by the investment in modern freighter aircraft and efficient cargo handling facilities.

View of Hong Kong International Airport skybridge.
Photo Credit: Lamb Ho/Airport Authority Hong Kong

Lavinia Lau, Cathay Pacific’s Chief Customer and Commercial Officer, expressed her satisfaction with the company’s performance. “Our travel business performed well in March with healthy demand across our services.

“Demand in the premium cabins both to and from Hong Kong also remained strong. We were also pleased to resume our direct flights between Bangkok and Singapore in March, which have been popular with customers.”

Cathay Celebrates HKIA Achievement

Cathay Pacific takes pride in its role as the largest cargo operator at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA). The airport recently retained its title as the world’s busiest cargo airport for the 13th time in 14 years.

The airline remains committed to collaborating with stakeholders to solidify Hong Kong’s position as a leading global air cargo hub.

Cathay Pacific’s continued investment in infrastructure and technology will ensure it remains at the forefront of the air cargo industry. The carrier continues to provide efficient and reliable cargo transportation solutions for businesses worldwide.

A sound month’s performance in March now looks to be followed by similar satisfying results. This is set to be bolstered by the 1 May Chinese Mainland Labor Day celebrations.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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