Cathay traffic down 1.6% in March

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Cathay Pacific Airways has reported a 1.6% decline in RPKs in March, compared with the corresponding period a year ago.

Passenger numbers fell 2.8% to 2.16 million, says the Oneworld carrier. Its traffic figures include that of its subsidiary Dragonair.

Capacity, as measured in ASKs, grew 9.8%, while the passenger load factor declined 8.8 percentage points to 76.9%, says Cathay.

Cathay's general manager of revenue management Tom Owen says: "Although premium demand remained firm in most markets, the slump in demand on all our Japanese routes is evident. China markets remain encouragingly strong overall, although we face revenue challenges specifically on the Shanghai routes off a very high base in 2010."

"North American and Southeast Asian markets remained strong, although it was a challenging month for the economy class cabins on European and South West Pacific routes, affected to some extent by an Easter seasonality shift as well as heightened competition," Owen adds.

On the cargo front, Cathay reported a total cargo volume of 161,461t, up 1.4% compared with the corresponding period a year ago.

Cathay Pacific's general manager cargo sales and marketing James Woodrow says: "While demand back into Asia remained robust during March, the demand from Hong Kong and Shanghai was comparatively soft particularly to Europe. Demand did improve towards the end of the month due to an increase at the end of the quarter."