Cathay Pacific reports strong travel demand in February 2024


Cathay Pacific announced robust passenger and cargo numbers for February 2024, seeing a significant surge in travel demand during the Chinese New Year holiday period.

The Hong Kong-based airline carried 1,801,174 passengers in February, a 61.6% year-over-year increase compared to the same month in 2023. Revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rose 50.3%, while available seat kilometers (ASKs) were up 57.3%. The passenger load factor stood at 82.4%, a 3.8 percentage point decrease from last year.

On the cargo front, Cathay Pacific transported 107,039 tonnes of freight in February, a 3% uptick versus 2023. Cargo revenue tonne kilometers (RFTKs) increased by 3.8% year-over-year. However, the cargo load factor declined by 7.5 percentage points to 59.2% as available cargo tonne kilometers (AFTKs) grew by 16.9%.

“Our passenger business performed well in February as customers travelled for Chinese New Year,” said Lavinia Lau, Chief Customer and Commercial Officer at Cathay Pacific. “Demand from Hong Kong, the rest of the Greater Bay Area and the Chinese Mainland surged over the holiday period, especially on short-haul routes.”

Lau highlighted the strong resurgence in bookings for Japan routes after demand softened in January due to the earthquakes that impacted the country. Routes to Southeast Asia also saw consistently positive travel sentiment following the introduction of visa-free travel between the Chinese Mainland and various countries in the region.

Looking ahead, Cathay Pacific anticipates demand will progressively grow leading up to the Easter holidays, especially on long-haul routes. The airline plans to launch passenger flights to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital and financial hub, in the fourth quarter of 2024.

On the cargo side, Lau expects demand to pick up towards the second half of March as the first quarter ends. E-commerce continues to drive demand out of Hong Kong.

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