Dubai – MENA Herald: Cathay Pacific Airways released combined Cathay Pacific and Dragonair traffic figures for June 2016 that show an increase in both the number of passengers carried and the amount of cargo and mail uplifted compared to the same month last year.

Cathay Pacific and Dragonair carried a total of 2,870,943 passengers last month – an increase of 2.1% compared to June 2015. The passenger load factor fell by 1.7 percentage points to 85.5% while capacity, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs), grew by 3.3%. In the first six months of 2016, the number of passengers carried rose by 2.7% compared to a 4.2% increase in capacity.

The two airlines carried 151,130 tonnes of cargo and mail in June, an increase of 7.1% compared to the same month last year. The cargo and mail load factor rose by 1.6 percentage points to 64.3%. Capacity, measured in available cargo/mail tonne kilometres, rose by 2.1% while cargo and mail revenue tonne kilometres (RTKs) increased by 4.8%. In the first six months of 2016, the tonnage carried fell by 0.3% against a 0.6% increase in capacity and a 2.3% drop in RTKs.

Commenting on the first six months of 2016, the airline’s Chief Executive, Ivan Chu, said: “Our performance over the first six months of 2016 has been below expectations. Passenger revenue has been adversely affected by the reduced load factor and intense pressure on yield. Cargo tonnage has stabilised but yield continues to decline. Foreign currency movements have also been adverse.”

Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management Patricia Hwang said: “Passenger traffic improved in June, although the growth in passenger numbers was not able to keep pace with the capacity increase, leading to a drop in load factor. Traffic grew as summer travel began, and one of our newest destinations, Madrid, became operational. The improvement also reflected our recovery from last year’s outbound travel alert to Korea, which was issued due to MERS. However, pressure on yield remains severe, with competition increasing and premium demand continuing to fall short of expectations.”

Cathay Pacific General Manager Cargo Sales & Marketing Mark Sutch said: “Helped by the half-year end rush, the overall tonnage for June was healthy, thanks to growing feed from Asia. The Americas saw a surge in the export of seasonal produce into Asia, particularly from the West Coast. Our new Madrid service was well-received by the cargo community and we filled the west-bound leg with consumer goods and carried fresh produce on the return leg. However, overall yield remains challenging, as market supply continues to outstrip demand. We will continue to diversify and develop special products, some of which have shown encouraging results.”