Cathay Pacific Recovery 2024: Positive Traffic Figures for May 2024

Cathay Pacific Recovery 2024: Front view of Cathay Pacific City with a vintage airplane on display
Cathay Pacific City, the airline's headquarters, highlighting the significant strides in Cathay Pacific recovery in 2024.

Cathay Pacific recovery 2024 continues to gain momentum, with the airline releasing impressive traffic figures for May 2024. The Hong-Kong-based carrier, alongside its subsidiary HK Express, has demonstrated significant progress, surpassing the 10 million mark for passengers carried in the first five months of 2024. This achievement underscores the ongoing revival of Cathay Pacific, signaling a robust return to pre-pandemic operations.

Impressive Passenger Growth For Cathay Pacific recovery 2024.

In May 2024, Cathay Pacific carried a total of 1,678,532 passengers, marking an 18.4% increase compared to May 2023. This notable growth is reflected in the month’s revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs), which rose by 20.8% year on year. Despite a slight decrease in the passenger load factor by 4.8 percentage points to 80.3%, attributed to fleet expansion, the airline’s available seat kilometers (ASKs) surged by 28% year on year. From January to May 2024, Cathay Pacific saw a 40.7% increase in passenger numbers, totaling 8,821,895 passengers. This growth aligns with a 45.7% increase in ASKs and a 37.5% increase in RPKs compared to the same period in 2023.

Seasonal Variations and Regional Trends

“May was, as expected, a slightly quieter period for our travel business compared with previous months as demand slowed down, particularly on our regional routes,” said Cathay Pacific’s Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Lavinia Lau. “Without any long weekend holidays in Hong Kong, we experienced a 4% decrease in passenger numbers compared with April, when multiple holidays drove strong leisure demand. However, compared with the same month last year, passenger numbers were 18% higher.”

Despite a dip in leisure traffic from Hong Kong, the airline experienced increased demand from various countries in Southeast Asia due to school holidays. Long-haul services were notably strengthened by the return of student traffic to Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland from North America, resulting in a 90% load factor on routes to the United States and Canada. Business travel demand remained robust, with strong sales in Hong Kong supporting traffic on several key routes to the Chinese Mainland, North America, and the United Kingdom. Cathay Pacific recovery 2024.

Strong Cargo Performance

Cathay Pacific’s recovery in 2024 is also evident in its cargo operations. In May 2024, the airline carried 121,088 tons of cargo, a 10.2% increase compared to May 2023. The month’s cargo revenue ton kilometers (RFTKs) increased by 3.8% year on year. Although the cargo load factor decreased by 2.1 percentage points to 59.4%, available cargo ton kilometers (AFTKs) rose by 7.5% year on year. Over the first five months of 2024, cargo tonnage increased by 10.2% to a total of 594,896 tons, alongside an 11.8% increase in AFTKs and a 4.4% increase in RFTKs compared to the same period in 2023.

“Cargo demand from Hong Kong and the rest of the Greater Bay Area remained solid throughout May,” Lau noted. “Across our network, tonnage grew 3% against last month, and 10% compared with May 2023, underpinned by a capacity growth of 7.5%. We observed particularly strong growth from Hong Kong, the Chinese Mainland, the Taiwan region, and Southeast Asia.”

The commodity mix also showed positive trends, with increases in the tonnage of general and special cargo, including high-end electronics, seafood, and consumer products. E-commerce continued to perform well, further bolstering cargo figures.

Future Outlook and Expansion Plans

Looking ahead, Cathay Pacific remains optimistic about its recovery and expansion plans for the rest of 2024. The airline has already achieved a significant milestone, reaching 80% of its pre-pandemic passenger flights as a group in the second quarter of 2024. The goal is to return to 100% by the first quarter of 2025, as more flights and destinations are added to the network.

“So far in 2024, Cathay Pacific has already added Chennai, Colombo, and Barcelona to our global network, while HK Express has added Beijing (Daxing), Bangkok (Don Mueang), Sanya, and Clark. Our passenger airlines now fly to more than 80 destinations around the world. This number will rise to 90 by next year as we continue to welcome even more destinations to our network, including Riyadh on October 28, 2024,” Lau highlighted. Cathay Pacific recovery 2024.

Sustained Cargo Demand

On the cargo front, Cathay Pacific anticipates sustained demand throughout the year. Market sentiment, particularly from Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland, remains positive. The airline plans to continue adjusting its freighter capacity to meet customer needs.

“For cargo, we expect demand to remain strong as it has been throughout the first five months of 2024. Market sentiment, particularly out of Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland, remains positive and we will continue to adjust our freighter capacity to suit the needs of our customers,” Lau concluded.

Conclusion: Cathay Pacific Recovery 2024

The Cathay Pacific recovery in 2024 is a testament to the airline’s resilience and strategic planning. With significant gains in both passenger and cargo traffic, Cathay Pacific is well on its way to regaining its pre-pandemic operational levels. The addition of new destinations and an optimistic outlook for the remainder of the year highlight the carrier’s commitment to growth and excellence in service. As Cathay Pacific continues its recovery journey, the airline is poised to reclaim its position as a leading global carrier.

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