Cathay January Cargo Down 19.5 Percent

February 13, 2012

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Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways said on Monday its January freight traffic fell 19.5 percent as weak demand was exaggerated by the Chinese New Year holiday while passenger traffic was strong.

Year-on-year comparisons were distorted by the fact that the Chinese New Year holiday fell in January this year compared to early February in 2011, it added.

"Apart from a modest pre-Chinese New Year rush, the cargo markets were generally soft throughout January," said James Woodrow, Cathay's general manager for Pacific cargo sales.

“Our key markets remain soft and we have been cutting capacity aggressively to match demand on trunk routes to North America and Europe," he said.

Passenger traffic was strong on the Mainland China, Korea and Southeast Asia routes last month; while long-haul routes also performed well due to the timing of the Chinese New Year break, said Cathay's general manager of revenue James Tong.

He warned that declining yield in the economy cabin remained an area of concern.

(Reuters)