Cathay traffic in June falls 14%

Singapore
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Cathay Pacific Airways posted a 14% fall in passenger traffic last month due to the fall-out from the global swine flu outbreak and the global recession.

RPKs in June fell 14% year-on-year and the number of passengers fell 18% 1.74 million, Cathay says in a statement. The total figures include that of its subsidiary Dragonair.

Capacity, as measure by ASKs, fell 9% and the passenger load factor dropped 4.5 percentage points to 76.8%.

Cargo and mail tonne kilometres, meanwhile, fell 9% and in real terms it dropped 10% to 123,860t.

"We usually see a pickup in demand in June as summer approaches but this year demand was depressed by the ongoing global economic recession and the reluctance of passengers to fly as a result of the" swine flu outbreak, which has had a particularly severe impact on the Hong Kong and Japanese markets, Cathay general manager revenue management, Tom Owen, says in the statement.

Cathay general manager of cargo sales and marketing, Titus Diu, says: "June cargo traffic was still down year-on-year though the monthly drop was the lowest so far in 2009."

"There are signs the airfreight market has bottomed out though as yet we are not seeing any sustained upswing in demand."

"Competition in the various cargo markets we serve remain fierce and as such yields remain under considerable pressure," he adds.