Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific Passengers Grow in February Over January

Just a few days ago the Hong Kong based giant of Asian aviation published its 2023 financial results. They finally saw the airline post a profit at the end of the financial year after difficult times in the post-covid era. Now we also have the possibility to comment on the traffic figure results of Cathay Pacific in February. Spoiler alert they look good, just as they did in January.

Passenger Figures on The Rise For Cathay Pacific in February 2024

In the yearly results recap article we covered how the airline’s management expects 2024 to be a year in which to continue the growth trajectory started last year. The airline, although it posted positive results in 2023, is still below 2019 traffic levels and has to make up quite some ground in 2024. However having said that it seems that Cathay Pacific is off to a good start.

February’s figures, as were January’s, are looking good:

  • 1,801,174 Passengers carried in February 2024. Up by 61.6% YoY. They also were 1,717,200 in January 2024.
  • 82,4% load factor.
  • 8,705,854,000 ASK (Available Seat Kilometre). Up by 57.3% YoY.
  • 7,173,058,000 RPK (Revenue Passenger Kilometer). Up by 50.3% YoY.

Huge increases if looked at without a bit of context. However if you keep in mind that Hong Kong only started powering up in 2023 and isn’t firing on all cylinders, they make much more sense. The YoY percentage increases will gradually go down as the year progresses. With a few more months under the belt we’ll have a clearer idea of how close Cathay will get to their pre-covid traffic levels.

Cathay Pacific announces its passenger traffic figures for the month of February 2024 with a little route announcement hidden.

Bringing Capacity Back Rapidly

What stands out of the KPIs listed above is the fact that the airline is bringing back capacity quite fast. Actually faster than the increase of demand as ASK increased by 57.3% YoY while RPK by 50.3% YoY.

However it is likely that RPK will pickup the pace in the central portion of 2024 as is the case with most northern hemisphere carriers. Therefore it makes absolute sense that Cathay Pacific is bringing back capacity faster than passengers are coming back, anticipating a spike in demand in Q2 and particularly in Q3.

Summer will see a big influx of European tourists to Hong Kong along with transit passengers making their way to the wider far east region and Australia. Capacity takes time to ramp up so it needs to be brought back before when you anticipate the spike to come.

A New Destination Announced And Cathay Pacific’s Outlook

An announcement was also hidden in this passenger traffic figure report. The airline in fact revealed that it will be launching flights to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in the later stages of the year. Details were not disclosed but surely as we draw closer we’ll get them and I’ll make sure to share them with you.

Finally the airline’s outlook for the upcoming months:

“Looking ahead, on the travel side we anticipate demand will progressively grow leading up to the Easter holidays, especially on long-haul routes. We are seeing strong demand for business travel into Hong Kong with various exhibitions taking place in the city. The extension of the Individual Visit Scheme to include travellers from Xi’an and Qingdao will also boost sentiment for travel to Hong Kong, especially during the Labour Day holiday in May.”

Cathay Pacific Spokesperson

About the author

Alex Achille

Ex Cabin Crew with Emirates, I've always loved travelling and other cultures. In this website I'll be sharing my experiences along with my reviews of the latest Korean Dramas and TV Series I've watched.

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