MIAMI – Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific (CX) has released traffic data for the month of November 2020, which reflected the COVID-19-driven reduction on travel demand, a company press release stated on December 16.

Cathay Pacific transported a total of 37,815 passengers last month, a decrease of 98.6 percent compared to November 2019, while the revenue passenger kilometers fell 97.9 percent year-on-year.

The load factor fell 61.5 percentage points to 18.5 percent, while capacity, measured in available seat kilometers (ASKs), decreased by 90.9 percent.

Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-1000 taxing at Toulouse Airport (TLS). Photo: Clement Alloing.

Passenger Traffic Still Not Improving

Cathay Pacific Group Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Ronald Lam stated in the released that “we are still not seeing any meaningful improvement in our passenger business,” adding that, the airline, on average “carried just 1,261 passengers per day and load factor remained low at 18.5 percent – both marginal increases over October.”

Lam highlighted the difficulties in increasing traffic. “While we saw reasonably good traffic coming back to Hong Kong from Canada and Australia, this was prior to the implementation of new government quarantine requirements in the middle of the month. Meanwhile, overall demand on long-haul routes, particularly the UK and continental Europe, remained weak owing to the ongoing impact of COVID-19 in many European countries,” Lam stated.

He also mentioned little improvements in Asian routes. “Regionally, certain markets performed slightly better. The uptick in traffic to and from Indonesia that we had been seeing in October continued into November. Demand from the Chinese mainland for flights to Japan was also promising with it being particularly noticeable on our newly resumed Osaka flights.”

“And while the postponement of our Hong Kong-Singapore Air Travel Bubble (ATB) flights was disappointing, we fully support the decision of the authorities and have resumed our previous schedule of three non-ATB flights per week to and from Singapore until the end of December,” Lam stated.

In terms of cargo, per the release, CX ” carried 116,853 tonnes of cargo and mail last month, a decrease of 34.3 percent compared to November 2019,” whereas the month’s revenue freight ton kilometers (RFTKs) decreased 26.2 percent. Cargo and mail load factors went up by 9.0 percentage points to 77.7 percent, while cargo capacity went down 34.7 percent.

Featured image: Airways Staff