Cathay Pacific Airways has posted a 1.6% growth in passenger traffic in January.

Total RPKs for January rose 1.6% from a year ago, says the airline. Cathay's traffic figures include those of subsidiary Dragonair.

In terms of real numbers, the total number of passengers carried grew 0.4% to 2.1 million, adds Cathay.

Capacity, as measured in ASKs, fell 3.6%. As a result, the passenger load factor grew 4.3 percentage points to 83.8%, says Cathay.

"The improved load factor reflects the continuing pick-up in traffic from the lows of the financial crisis, led by our regional network," says the airline's general manager of revenue management Tom Owen.

"We were also encouraged to see premium passenger numbers growing, especially on long-haul routes, although there is still a very long way to go to get back to the volume and yield levels we enjoyed before the economic downturn," he adds.

In terms of cargo, freight tonne kilometers (FTKs) grew 25.7%, says Cathay.

"Direct comparisons with 2009 are distorted by the fact that our traffic volumes were being severely affected by the economic slump early last year," says Cathay's general manager cargo sales and marketing Titus Diu.

"However, the fact that we had roughly the same capacity as the previous January but an almost 16-point increase in load factor shows the extent to which traffic has bounced back," he adds.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news