Cathay posts positive results despite ‘turbulent’ conditions

Cathay Pacific Group saw a 1.7% year-on-year increase in cargo and mail volumes for September, with Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon carrying a combined total of 180,623 tonnes during the month.

Capacity increased by 0.7% to 2,633,060 available freight tonne-km and the load factor rose to 69.2%, up by  1.1 percentage points over September last year. In addition, cargo and mail revenue freight tonne-km climbed 2.3% to reach 1,014,477 for the month.

The positive results stand against a challenging backdrop.

Jenny He, regional head of cargo, China, at Cathay Pacific Cargo, outlined: “September was a turbulent month. Flood damage from Typhoon Jebi closed Kansai International Airport in Japan for more than a week and then Hong Kong was rocked by Typhoon Mangkhut – the biggest to hit the city in many years. That shut down operations at our home base for a day, disrupting schedules and shipments.”

Other difficulties included economic instability as tariffs continued to escalate. Cathay Pacific director commercial and cargo Ronald Lam said the carrier would “continue to closely monitor external factors that are impacting global trade”.

Jenny He went on: “Notwithstanding that, we are now in the middle of the peak season for cargo. We do not have the figures for October yet, but exports from mainland China grew to peak levels following on from the lull of the Golden Week Holiday period.”

For the first nine months of 2018, the combined carriers’ tonnage rose by 6.4% against a three percent increase in capacity and growth in revenue freight tonne-km of 6.1%, Cathay said.

Cathay Pacific is adding extra flights to Adelaide, Frankfurt, Madrid and Tokyo – as well as new destinations such as Seattle – as it continues to grow, meaning additional bellyhold space for cargo on those routes.

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