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Cathay reports drastic declines in traffic

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HONG KONG, 16 March 2022: Cathay Pacific released traffic figures for February 2022 on Monday that showed substantial capacity reductions in response to reduced demand caused by travel restrictions and quarantine requirements in Hong Kong and other markets.

Cathay Pacific carried 31,253 passengers last month, an increase of 47.9% compared to February 2021 and a 98.9% decrease compared to the pre-pandemic level in February 2019.

The month’s revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) increased 5.2% year-on-year and were down 99% versus February 2019. Passenger load factor increased by 33.8 percentage points to 47.6%, while capacity, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs), decreased by 69.4% year-on-year and decreased by 98.4% compared with February 2019 levels. In the first two months of 2022, passenger traffic increased by 8.6% against a 72.8% decrease in capacity and a 12.5% decrease in RPKs, compared to the same period for 2021.

Travel

Cathay Pacific chief customer and commercial officer Ronald Lam said: “The operating environment for Cathay Pacific remains very challenging. In February, travel and operational restrictions in place in Hong Kong continued to constrain our ability to operate more passenger flight capacity. We performed below 2% of pre-Covid-19 levels, a reduction of about 28% compared with January 2022.

“We have remained as agile as possible, deploying passenger flight capacity to cater to last-minute demand, on top of ongoing traffic from the Chinese Mainland to long-haul destinations as well as post-Chinese New Year traffic from Hong Kong to the Chinese Mainland. We also saw some demand for flights to Australia, notably student traffic from the Chinese Mainland and Hong Kong. As a result, we carried more passengers in February than in January. Load factor edged up to reach about 48%.

Outlook

“Looking ahead in March, on the travel side, we originally expected that the majority of passenger traffic would continue to come from our Chinese Mainland routes. However, stricter capacity restrictions have since been put in place by the Chinese Mainland authorities as part of their pandemic control measures. These, together with the current restrictions in Hong Kong, mean that we do not foresee significant signs of recovery in passenger travel demand in March.” 

(Source: Cathay Pacific)

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