Cathay Pacific Group sees decline in passengers and cargo

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/9/11 22:38:41

The Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd logo is displayed atop a building at Cathay Pacific City, the company's headquarters, in Hong Kong in August, 2018. Photo:VCG

Embattled Cathay Pacific Group saw a decline both in passengers and cargo traffic in August amid the background of the Hong Kong riots, and the group said it will cut capacity for the upcoming winter season.

Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon, two airlines under the group, carried a total of 2.9 million passengers in August, a drop of 11.3 percent compared to the same period last year, and the passenger load factor decreased by 7.2 percentage points to 79.9 percent. 

Also, the two airlines carried 161,394 tons of cargo and mail in August, a drop of 14 percent compared to the same month last year, and the cargo and mail load factor fell by 7.5 percentage points to 60.9 percent. 

Overall tourist arrivals into the city were nearly half what they usually are in what is normally a strong summer holiday month, and this has significantly affected the performance of the airlines, Cathay Pacific Group Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Ronald Lam said in a statement sent to the Global Times on Wednesday. 

"We don't anticipate September being any less difficult," he said. 

The group has suffered turbulence in recent months, including a plunge in share prices and replacement of senior executives. Last week, the group said Chairman John Slosar will retire soon, against the background of some of its staff having been involved in recent riots in Hong Kong.

The inbound Hong Kong traffic in August was down 38 percent while outbound traffic was down 12 percent year-on-year, and inbound traffic demand to Hong Kong from regional markets, particularly the Chinese mainland and North East Asia, was severely hit, Lam said. 

The company is reducing capacity growth such that it will be slightly down year-on-year for the 2019 winter season (from end-October 2019 to end-March 2020) versus the original growth plan of more than 6 percent for the period, the statement said. 


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