Cathay Pacific releases traffic figures for May 2022

posted on 14th June 2022 by Eddie Saunders
Cathay Pacific releases traffic figures for May 2022

Cathay Pacific today released its traffic figures for May 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 May 2022 traffic figures started to reflect the positive impact of those changes.

Cathay Pacific carried a total of 57,982 passengers last month, an increase of 141.5% compared to May 2021, but a 98% decrease compared to the pre-pandemic level in May 2019.

The month’s revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) increased 164.4% year-on-year, but were down 97.1% versus May 2019.

Passenger load factor increased by 33.7 percentage points to 60.5%, while capacity, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs), increased by 16.8% year-on-year, but decreased by 96% compared with May 2019 levels.

In the first five months of 2022, the number of passengers carried increased by 59.1% against a 48.5% decrease in capacity and a 49.3% increase in RPKs, as compared to the same period for 2021.

Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Ronald Lam said: “The introduction of further adjustments to travel restrictions and quarantine requirements in Hong Kong from 1 May was a welcome development, although our business during the month remained constrained.

“We increased our passenger flight capacity by 78% compared with April, but we still only operated about 4% of our pre-pandemic levels.

“Traffic volume in terms of RPK increased 94% month on month, and this was driven primarily by long-haul flights. As a result, overall load factor reached 60.5%.

“The additional passenger flight capacity we mounted in May provided better connectivity for our transit passengers, particularly those travelling from the Chinese Mainland to long-haul destinations such as the US, Europe and Australia.

“Demand for inbound flights to Hong Kong saw substantial growth, driven by pent-up demand out of North America, the UK and Europe.

“We also resumed flights to India last month with services to Delhi and Mumbai.

“On the other hand, we continued to operate limited frequencies into the Chinese Mainland to comply with ongoing capacity restrictions.”

“The first quarter of 2022 saw a tightening of travel restrictions and quarantine requirements as Hong Kong continued to fight against COVID-19.

“Such measures have restricted our ability to operate beyond only a fraction of our passenger services and have significantly reduced our cargo capacity.

“However, with the recent adjustments to travel restrictions and quarantine requirements, we have been able to resume more flight capacity in the second quarter.

“Given a strong underlying cargo performance coupled with our cost-management measures implemented over the past two years, our consolidated losses in the first half of 2022, while substantial, are expected to be lower than the consolidated losses reported in the first half of 2021.

“Earlier this month, the Hong Kong SAR Government agreed to extend the drawdown period of the HK$7.8 billion loan facility for 12 months to 8 June 2023.

“The further extension of the drawdown period is greatly appreciated and will provide us with flexibility to manage our liquidity position.

“Looking ahead to June and beyond, as travel demand continues to improve over the coming months, we will increase passenger flight capacity as much as is practicable under the confines of ongoing restrictions.

“Cathay Pacific started the year operating flights to 29 destinations and we target to double that by the end of the year.

“As of June, we are already halfway towards reaching this target with 45 destinations resumed.

“We will be keeping a close eye on the opening up of travel activities in nearby countries, such as Japan and South Korea, and will look to operate flights to capture potential demand wherever possible.

“We also expect transit traffic to improve and become more diversified, in particular between the UK, Australia and New Zealand, as well as North America and Southeast Asia.”

CATHAY PACIFIC TRAFFIC

MAY

2022

% change

vs MAY21

Cumulative

MAY 2022

% change

vs YTD21

RPK (000)
 – Chinese mainland 23,788 135.3% 104,440 135.9%
 – North East Asia 3,764 -1.5% 15,211 -28.2%
 – South East Asia 15,680 22.1% 55,888 -26.7%
– South Asia, Middle East  & Africa 5,327 844.7% 5,546 883.6%
 – South West Pacific 35,753 293.0% 113,037 120.7%
 – North America 137,509 182.2% 292,284 18.6%
 – Europe 107,771 172.9% 240,119 111.3%
RPK Total (000) 329,592 164.4% 826,525 49.3%
Passengers carried 57,982 141.5% 185,385 59.1%
RFTK Total (000) 377,237 -32.5% 1,557,877 -41.0%
Cargo and mail carried (000Kg) 92,426 0.0% 421,345 -4.3%
Number of flights 1,192 19.6% 5,972 19.1%

CATHAY PACIFIC CAPACITY

MAY

2022

% change

vs MAY21

Cumulative

MAY 2022

% change

vs YTD21

ASK (000)        
 – Chinese mainland 71,679 78.0% 404,967 107.0%
 – North East Asia 17,312 -52.5% 70,499 -62.6%
 – South East Asia 29,863 -48.6% 127,165 -65.8%
– South Asia, Middle East  & Africa 17,708 184.7% 20,534 230.1%
 – South West Pacific 55,663 -42.7% 182,554 -72.8%
 – North America 199,341 43.8% 445,865 -64.6%
 – Europe 153,631 71.1% 340,199 -14.3%
ASK Total (000) 545,197 16.8% 1,591,783 -48.5%
Passenger load factor 60.5% 33.7%pt 51.9% 34.0%pt
AFTK Total (000) 498,218 -27.7% 1,975,745 -38.9%
Cargo and mail load factor 75.7% -5.3%pt 78.9% -2.7%pt
ATK (000) 550,499 -25.0% 2,128,131 -39.7%