Cathay Pacific: Strong Travel Demand Continues in April

A Cathay Pacific Airbus A350 at the terminal.
Photo Credit: Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific continues its upward trajectory, reporting a robust April 2024. Demand has continued into April, with significant growth in both passenger and cargo traffic.

Passenger numbers were further buoyed up by national and regional festivities which boosted air travel.

This positive momentum reflects a strategic approach, with the carrier capitalizing on key holidays, events, and network expansion across the region.

Passenger Demand Soars Amid Festivities

Passenger numbers for April witnessed a remarkable 26.1% year-on-year increase, reaching a total of 1,741,585.

This surge aligns with the strategic scheduling of flights around various holidays and events. Easter celebrations, coupled with the excitement of the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, ignited travel enthusiasm.

Festive periods in Southeast Asia further fueled demand, with passengers flocking to Hong Kong, Mainland China, Japan, and other regional destinations.

The icing on the cake came with Golden Week holidays in China and Japan, generating a final wave of pre-holiday and leisure travel.

M Radzi Desa (GFDL 1.2 or GFDL 1.2 ), via Wikimedia Commons

Lavinia Lau, Chief Customer and Commercial Officer at Cathay Pacific, sheds light on the success, saying, “April was another fantastic month for our passenger business.”

“A strategic combination of holiday periods and large-scale events significantly stimulated both business and leisure travel. We witnessed strong inbound and outbound traffic throughout the month, with passengers taking advantage of our network to celebrate various festivities.”

Business Travel Takes Off

While leisure travel took center stage, April also witnessed a notable rise in business travel, particularly driven by the prestigious Canton Fair in Guangzhou.

Cathay Pacific’s innovative intermodal codeshare ferry services provided seamless access to the exhibition center. This proved immensely popular with business travelers, especially those from the United States transiting through Hong Kong.

This strategic move highlights Cathay Pacific’s commitment to providing a comprehensive and convenient travel experience for all segments.

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

Cargo Holds Steady Despite Seasonal Dips

Cargo tonnage remained 7.4% higher compared to April 2023, demonstrating a continued growth trajectory.

While April witnessed a slight dip compared to March due to seasonal variations and holidays, a notable uptick emerged after the festivities.

E-commerce shipments from Hong Kong and Mainland China emerged as a key driver, showcasing the region’s thriving online retail sector and Cathay Pacific’s vital role in facilitating global trade.

A Cathay Pacific Boeing 747 on the tarmac.
Photo Credit: Cathay Pacific.

Looking Ahead: A Summer of Growth and Expansion

The future for Cathay Pacific is brimming with optimism. The expansion of the Individual Visit Scheme to eight additional cities in Mainland China is expected to further bolster tourism and passenger traffic.

This strategic move opens doors for a wider range of Chinese travelers to explore Hong Kong, contributing to the city’s vibrant tourism industry.

To cater to this increased demand, Cathay Pacific anticipates operating up to 210 return flights per week between Hong Kong and Mainland China during the peak summer season.

The coming months will see the Cathay Pacific Group further solidify its network dominance. The resumption of the Barcelona service by Cathay Pacific will cater to renewed travel interest in Europe.

Airline staff with HK Express aircraft.
Photo Credit: HK Express

Meanwhile, HK Express’ launch of new routes to Sanya and Clark expands travel options within Asia. Additionally, a surge in student travel is anticipated during the summer months, contributing to the overall positive outlook.

Cathay Pacific remains confident about steady cargo tonnage growth, particularly on routes connecting Asia and North America.

This optimism stems from the region’s ever-growing economic dynamism and the increasing demand for efficient and reliable air cargo transportation.


In conclusion, Cathay Pacific’s strategic approach to scheduling, network expansion, and service innovation has positioned them for continued success.

As the summer season approaches, the airline anticipates a surge in both passenger and cargo traffic, solidifying their position as a leading force in Asia’s aviation industry.

Their commitment to providing a premium travel experience and facilitating global trade ensures a bright future for Cathay Pacific and the regions they connect.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
5 Min Read
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