Cathay Pacific today released its traffic figures for April 2022. As the recent adjustments to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government’s travel restrictions and quarantine requirements became effective in phases, the airline’s April 2022 traffic figures continued to reflect the impact of some of these constraints.
The airline carried 92,361 tonnes of cargo last month, an increase of 26.3% compared to April 2021, but a 43.6% decrease compared with the same period in 2019.
The month’s cargo revenue tonne kilometres (RFTKs) decreased 13.2% year-on-year, and were down 62.4% compared to April 2019.
The cargo load factor decreased by 2.7 percentage points to 80.2%, while capacity, measured in available cargo tonne kilometres (AFTKs), was down by 10.2% year-on-year, and was down by 70.7% versus April 2019.
In the first four months of 2022, the tonnage decreased by 5.4% against a 42% decrease in capacity and a 43.3% decrease in RFTKs, as compared to the same period for 2021.
Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Ronald Lam said: “Regarding cargo, our flight capacity continued to recover in April as we maximised 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 was mixed, with cargo exports from Shanghai affected by the city’s lockdown, which has disrupted supply chains in the eastern part of the Chinese Mainland.
“On the other hand, demand from Hong Kong began to recover as cross-border bottlenecks began to ease, driven primarily by sea feeders that helped offset the impact from cross-border trucking services remaining constrained.
“Elsewhere in our network, demand remained healthy with machine parts and industrial products from Northeast Asia and the Americas particularly active.
“Across many of our markets, we saw a strong end of the month coinciding with the pre-holiday rush ahead of Labour Day and Golden Week in Japan.
“April also saw the launch of our new Priority service, which offers cargo customers a suite of different options for time-sensitive shipments across our various cargo solutions, and can be easily accessed through our online booking portal, Click & Ship.”
“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.
“Regarding cargo, on top of the additional cargo flight capacity provided by our increased passenger flights, from June we intend to add back long-haul freighter destinations in Europe and the Americas, and resume freighter services for the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Cambodia.
“Whilst the ongoing anti-pandemic measures in Shanghai and other parts of the Chinese Mainland continue to affect overall market demand, we shall remain agile and flexible in making adjustments to our network to meet demand wherever possible.
“We will continue to look for opportunities to add back capacity, and rebuild our hub and network.
“Encouragingly, we expect this additional capacity to have a positive impact on Cathay Pacific’s business and we have been evaluating the potential benefit on our operations and cost base.
“According to our preliminary assessment, we are targeting to reduce operating cash burn to less than HK$0.5 billion per month for the next few months.”