Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific said on Monday that February freight traffic rose 0.8 percent, while growth in passenger numbers fell short of capacity growth.
The February cargo load factor was 65.8 percent, down 1.8 percentage points on the previous year. Cathay carried 117,880 tonnes of cargo, up 0.8 percent in the month.
"On the surface the February cargo figures look reasonably okay, but comparisons with 2011 are distorted by the Chinese New Year effect," said General Manager for Cargo Sales and Marketing James Woodrow.
The Lunar New Year holiday fell in late January this year but in early February in 2011.
"Our key markets remained soft, with weak demand to Europe in particular out of Hong Kong and Shanghai," he said. "At the end of February, demand out of Hong Kong and mainland China did improve due to large project shipments."
Cathay carried 2.12 passengers in February, up 4 percent on the previous year, but the passenger load factor fell 2.8 percentage points to 74.5 percent.
"The February figures highlight the fact that growth in passenger volume is struggling to keep pace with the increase in capacity, while the decline in yield is becoming more apparent on all routes in economy class," said General Manager for Revenue Management James Tong.