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CATHAY PACIFIC: Rebounding with 3,467% increase in passengers

CATHAY PACIFIC: Rebounding with 3,467% increase in passengers

Ok, that figure sounds staggering but it is based on comparing February 2023 when China was no longer locked down with the year before, February 2022, when China was locked down. In that light, it’s not so staggering.

That equates to 1,114,727 passengers, and an increase in RPK’s (revenue passenger kilometres) of 4,720% year-on-year. Passenger load more than doubled from 38.6% to 86.2%. There are even more figures for the statistician avgeek including for cargo.

“Travel demand overall remained strong across our network, especially traffic to and from the Chinese Mainland via the Hong Kong hub. We also saw strong demand on our Taipei and Kaohsiung routes in the last week of February after the lifting of all travel restrictions on Hong Kong and Macau residents. We are pleased to see that demand is also growing for premium travel for both business and leisure purposes.”

Lavinia Lau, Chief Customer and Commercial Officer
people sitting on an airplane
Cathay Pacific Premium Economy [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

Future outlook

Cathay is building its capacity back – taking some of those aircraft that are in hibernation at Alice Springs Airport. Its currently at roughly 50% of pre-pandemic passenger capacity across 70 destinations.

London will return with five return flights per day on certain days starting in April. Japan will also get a greater frequency of flights per week leading to the summer peak. Cathay plans to service 15 cities on the Chinese mainland by the end of March. That also means First Class will return to some Beijing/Hong Kong services starting on 26 March. Los Angeles will also get First Clas commending the same date.

a group of airplanes in a row
Cathay Pacific jets stored around Alice Springs Airport [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

2PAXfly Takeout

The Chinese lockdown has been devastating for the Chinese international airline industry, and Cathay is perhaps the name we most associate with international travel and the Hong Kong hub. It’s good to see that demand is rebounding and that Cathay is able to un-mothball its aircraft at a reasonable pace, to expand its service. I doubt Cathay are out of the financial woods yet, but at least their future holds some hope for continued income growth.

Love Cathay Pacific and their service.

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