Cathay Pacific’s Passengers Increase 82.2% Year On Year

Cathay Pacific has released its traffic figures for April 2022, revealing an 82.2% increase from last year in light of Hong Kong easing its travel restrictions. However, the airline is still operating at just a fraction of its pre-pandemic capacity.

Cathay slowly recovers

Cathay Pacific carried a total of 40,823 passengers in April, an increase of 82.2% year on year. The carrier has now served 127,403 passengers over 2022, an increase of 37.8% on the same period in 2021. Passenger load factor was up by 31.5% in April to reach 55.6%.

Cathay’s Chief Customer and Commercial Officer, Ronald Lam, said,


“April saw some positive developments for our travel business with improved demand across our network. Following the lifting of the ban on inbound flights from nine countries on April 1st, in addition to the adjustment of the quarantine period from 14 to seven days for travelers arriving in Hong Kong, we saw increased demand among residents wishing to return home to the city, in particular from the UK. “

The airline served over 3.1 million passengers in April 2019. Photo: Getty Images

The airline’s cargo division also performed better, carrying 26.3% more cargo than last year at 92,361 tonnes. However, April’s cargo revenue tonne kilometers (RFTKs) decreased 13.2% year on year.

Ronald Lam added,

“Our flight capacity continued to recover in April as we maximized regional frequencies and resumed freighter services to Frankfurt – the first freighter flights we have operated to Europe since the end of December last year. Nevertheless, our cargo flight capacity remained about 29% of our pre-pandemic capacity. Demand remained healthy, with machine parts and industrial products from Northeast Asia and the Americas particularly active. “

Cathay’s cargo network will become more active in the coming months. The airline plans to return to long-haul freighter destinations in Europe and the Americas and services to the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Cambodia.

The carrier will also continue its cargo push with new priority options.

Still a long way from 2019 capacity

Despite recording significant improvements from last year, Cathay Pacific is still far from reaching its pre-pandemic capacity. Last month, the airline’s passenger traffic was down 98.7% compared to April 2019.

Ronald Lam said,

“We launched additional frequencies, providing more and better connections for our transit passengers. In addition to ongoing demand from the Chinese Mainland, transit traffic going to and from other destinations in Asia also picked up. On April 29th, we carried 2,805 passengers in total , which was the highest since August 4th, 2021. “

Figures from April 2019 reveal that Cathay carried over 3.1 million passengers for the month. The carrier’s available seat kilometers (ASKs) also decreased by 30.2% year-on-year and were down by 97.7% compared to 2019.

Cash burn to improve

As Hong Kong eases travel restrictions, Cathay Pacific expects to reduce its cash burn to less than HK $ 500 million ($ 64 million) over the next few months.

The airline plans to resume several important routes in its network, including destinations in Australia, India and the United States. It has also announced the resumption of its Hong Kong-Auckland service in June.

Cathay has often complained about Hong Kong’s strict travel restrictions over the pandemic. Photo: Getty Images

Cathay said,

“The recent adjustments to the government’s travel restrictions and quarantine requirements will help facilitate the gradual resumption of travel activities and the strengthening of network connectivity to and from the Hong Kong aviation hub.”

Hong Kong recently changed its quarantine requirement from 14 days to seven days, encouraging more travelers to visit. Additionally, the country has allowed non-residents to enter since May 1st.

Have you flown with Cathay Pacific over the pandemic? Do you have any plans to visit Hong Kong? Let us know in the comments.

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