Cathay Pacific reports 13.6 per cent year-on-year cargo fall

Cathay Pacific has reported a 13.6 per cent year-on-year decrease in cargo and mail carried in April to 73,113 tonnes.

The decrease in cargo carried led to the month’s revenue freight tonne kilometres (RFTKs) falling by 31.3 per cent year-on-year.

However, the cargo and mail load factor increased by 12.5 percentage points to 83 per cent, while capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometres (AFTKs), was down by 41.7 per cent.

In the first four months of 2021, the tonnage fell by 26.7 per cent against a 40 per cent drop in capacity and a 27.5 per cent decrease in RFTKs, as compared to the same period for 2020.

Cathay Pacific group chief customer and commercial officer Ronald Lam said: “On the cargo side, while we welcomed the easing of quarantine restrictions for cargo aircrew in Hong Kong in mid-April, the positive impact of the relaxation was not immediately realised due to crew rostering lead time and our overall capacity last month remained significantly affected.

“The number of freighter and cargo-only passenger flights that we operated was lower than at any point since the Covid-19 pandemic began, limiting our ability to provide more lift to what was a reasonably buoyant cargo market, particularly on long-haul routings.

“This reduction in capacity together with the firm market led to a high load factor of 83 per cent.

“Our vaccine solution has gathered momentum and we surpassed the milestone of shipping 15 million Covid-19 vaccines around the world in mid-April.

“We have also seen surges in demand for related medical and healthcare supplies and we are focused on maximising our available capacity to facilitate the movement of these essential shipments.”

Lam added the airline’s cargo operations should get a further boost as more of its crew are vaccinated and can play a bigger role in operating services around the world.