PHOTO: Cathay Pacific.

MIAMI – Cathay Pacific and its subsidiary, Cathay Dragon, had transported 3.11 million passengers in March, up 2.5 percent from last year.

In addition, the carrier reported a 2.5 percent drop in cargo and mail transportation from last year to only 185,156 tons.

Cathay Pacific Director of Commercial and Cargo Ronaldo Lam reasoned that:

“It should be noted that the later Easter holiday this year resulted in some distortion in our passenger revenue growth comparison. Passenger volumes were unable to keep pace with capacity growth during March…”

“Some concern also arose as a result of the trade talks between the United States and China.” To this, Lam responded, “We continue to closely observe China-US trade talk developments and their impact on global trade flows.”

However, the news offers a promising outlook given other headlines in recent weeks regarding the Hong Kong flag carrier.

In addition to its growing passenger base, Cathay Pacific revealed in late March that it had acquired Hong Kong Express, a budding low-budget carrier. The acquisition represents a global trend towards low-cost flying.

Flights opening to Japan’s Komatsu and Seattle-Tacoma also pose new avenues for the airline to increase its traffic figures. Cathay Pacific is the only airline to serve these direct routes.

Lam also highlights improvements in March compared to previous months, especially given expansion in “key markets of Hong Kong and mainland China.”

Luckily for Cathay Pacific, the Boeing 737 MAX 8 scandal did not affect the fleet as it did that of other airlines. The flag carrier operates mainly Airbus aircraft, Boeing 777s and 747s (for cargo).

Given the growing list of destinations (both foreign and domestic), Cathay Pacific has positioned itself to increase traffic substantially in the coming months over all of its subsidiaries.

Furthermore, Cathay’s adaptability to the current market trends may allow the airline to trade in its current shortcomings for future returns.