Cathay Cargo volumes continue recovery in 2023 but still lag 2019 levels
Cathay Pacific saw its cargo volumes continue to recover last year following Covid-related lockdowns in 2022, but demand still lags behind 2019 levels.
The Hong Kong-hubbed carrier group handled 1.4m tonnes of cargo last year, which is a 19.6% improvement on 2022 when Covid-related lockdowns resulted in freighter and passenger flights being cancelled due to crew restrictions.
Volumes in 2022 and the first half of 2023 were also affected by a ban on the transhipment of e-cigarettes through Hong Kong, which was later lifted.
The carrier said that cargo volumes continued to improve as the year progressed and in December there was a 20.7% year-on-year increase in cargo tonnes.
Chief customer and commercial officer Lavinia Lau said: “Our cargo business performed well in December, and finished on a high, primarily driven by the strong year-end demand for e-commerce products.
“Additionally, there was increased demand for perishable goods for the holiday season. December also saw a pickup in our Live Animal solutions with significant numbers of racehorses
being moved across our network in support of the Hong Kong international race events.”
Looking ahead, Lau added: “We expect demand to steadily pick up from the second half of the month with the e-commerce demand on the Americas and European lanes remaining solid and local demand strengthening up to the Lunar New Year holidays.”
This year, the Lunar New Year holiday takes place from February 10 to 17.
While volumes improved last year, the return of belly capacity resulted in the average load factor for the year falling 8.6 percentage points to 62%.
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