HONG KONG, 16 February 2203: Cathay Pacific carried 1,031,893 passengers last month, an increase of 4,077.9% compared with January 2022, according to the airline’s traffic figures for January 2023 released on Wednesday.
Demonstrating positive signs, the airline continues to rebuild and restore connectivity at the Hong Kong international aviation hub.
The month’s revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) increased by 3,807.3% year-on-year. Passenger load factor increased by 46.4 percentage points to 86.8%, while capacity, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs), increased by 1,717.1% year-on-year.
Looking at February and beyond, the airline will concentrate on increasing flights in the lead-up to the Easter holiday during the first week of April. Demand for flights to and from the Chinese Mainland, both for point-to-point and connecting traffic via Hong Kong, should continue to grow, and the airline claims it is now on track to operate more than 100 return flights per week to 14 cities in the Chinese Mainland by the end of February.
The airline carried 95,139 tonnes of cargo last month, an increase of 28.1% compared with January 2022, when we had to suspend our long-haul schedule for seven days due to stricter quarantine measures. The month’s cargo revenue tonne kilometres (RFTKs) increased 140.9% year-on-year. The cargo load factor decreased by 14.4 percentage points to 62.2%, while capacity, measured in available cargo tonne kilometres (AFTKs), increased by 196.8% year-on-year.
Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Lavinia Lau commented: “The new year got off to a positive start in January as Cathay Pacific carried more than 1 million passengers for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
“We carried on average more than 33,000 passengers per day, up from about 26,000 per day in December 2022, and operated at 18% more capacity than we did in December. We added more destinations in January, with our Phuket and Xi’an flights resuming.
“With the return of quarantine-free travel between Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland on 8 January, we saw increased demand for travel into the Chinese Mainland, both from and through Hong Kong. We have been increasing our flights accordingly, and by the end of the month, we were operating up to three return flights per day to Shanghai and 11 return flights per week to Beijing.
“Leisure travel demand over the Lunar New Year holiday was also strong, particularly from Hong Kong, with Japan, Bangkok and Singapore being the most popular destinations. Unfortunately, despite the high demand for Japan, we had to cancel some of our flights due to restrictions imposed by the Japanese authorities on the number of flights airlines are permitted to operate from Hong Kong.