Cathay Pacific Reports 141.5% Increase in Passenger Numbers

Photo Credit: James Field/AviationSource

LONDON – Cathay Pacific has reported a 141.5% increase in passenger numbers in their monthly traffic report.

The airline has stated that it has handled 57,982 passengers in May 2022, which was an increase of 141.5% compared to the same period last year.

This figure is still down 98% compared to what was handled in May 2019, which is deemed as the pre-pandemic level for the airline.

Load factors for the airline were recorded at 60.2%, which is 33.7% more than the same period last year but is a 96% decrease compared with May 2019’s numbers.

On its cargo wing, the airline handled 92,426 tonnes, which was a similar level to that of May 2021, but is 45.1% less than in May 2019. Load factors for cargo decreased by 5.3% to 75.7%.

Cathay Pacific Hanging On By A Thread…

Cathay Pacific does seem to be hanging on by a thread at this stage.

On June 7, they had a bridge loan extended from Hong Kong’s SAR Government. The bridge loan that has been extended is worth HK$7.8 billion and has in recent times provided Cathay Pacific with a major lifeline in its woes in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Throughout the pandemic, Cathay Pacific has been one of the major airlines that have been severely damaged, with Hong Kong’s relatively small area compared to other countries, has meant that the city has been subject to even stricter lockdown restrictions, which have all added to the immense pressure on Cathay Pacific to remain operational.

In terms of the loan extension, the Hong Kong SAR Government has extended Cathay Pacific’s drawdown period for an additional 12 months, now until June 8, 2023.

Cathay Pacific’s Chief Executive Officer, Augustus Tang, added his comments to the loan extension news saying, “We are grateful to the Hong Kong SAR Government for its ongoing support, and its continued confidence in the long-term future of Cathay Pacific despite the short-term challenges of the pandemic.”

“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, we have remained focused on prudent cash management. Despite the difficult operational environment, we have not had to draw down the facility over the past 12 months.”

“The further extension of the drawdown period is greatly appreciated and will provide us with the flexibility to manage our liquidity position.”


It remains clear that the current situation in Hong Kong continues to bite Cathay Pacific, especially with COVID still not dissipating in the area.

This week, for example, Turkish Airlines has been temporarily banned from operating in the country due to COVID violations on two of its passengers.

Cathay Pacific is most definitely banking on the fact that conditions in Hong Kong may improve when it comes to restrictions, but the government hasn’t indicated any signs of improvement at this stage.

All Cathay Pacific can hope for in the meantime is that the situation improves so then they can handle more passengers and get themselves back to some level of normalcy.

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