Cathay passenger and cargo traffic slumps


Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways has said passenger and cargo traffic slumped in September due to the general economic downturn and the impact of the terror attacks in the US on September 11.

The number of passengers carried by the airline declined by 12.1 per cent compared to the same month in 2000 to 871,126, and the amount of cargo carried fell 12.2 per cent to 61,420 tonnes, it said in a statement.

Trans-Pacific routes were the worst affected with revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) falling by 17.6 per cent, it said.

Southeast Asian and Middle East routes were however less affected with RPKs falling a more modest 4.9 per cent. Overall passenger load factor was 68.4 per cent, a fall of 7.3 percentage points.

Passenger yields continued to decline due to the weakness in demand for first and business class travel. This year's trend of falling cargo yields also continued, Cathay Pacific said.

The airline's general manager for network revenue, Ian Shiu, said: "The significant decline in passengers and cargo can be attributed to the general economic slowdown and the impact of the tragic events of September 11."

The airline also said it had temporarily reduced frequencies to five destinations as part of an ongoing review of its network.

The reduction of 14 flights per week represents approximately 3 per cent of the total weekly schedule.

The affected destinations are Bangkok, Denpasar, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Los Angeles.