Cathay Pacific Releases April 2021 Traffic Figures

Overall passenger numbers remain very low just over 22,000 travelers were carried over the entire month.

The wing of a Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-1000 aircraft. (Photo: Cathay Pacific)

Hong Kong’s flag carrier faces a long road ahead as ongoing border restrictions and weak demand for international travel hamper its plans for recovery. The latest monthly traffic figures, released this week, show that Cathay Pacific carried a total of 22,404 passengers last month, which averages out to just 747 travelers per day. While the overall number represents a 63.2 percent increase compared to April last year, it is still down by more than 99 percent over the same period in 2019.

Meanwhile, passenger load factor and capacity — the latter measured in available seat kilometers — both saw a slight increase (these rose by 24.2 percent and 18.9 percent, respectively). Ronald Lam, Cathay Pacific Group Chief Customer and Commercial Officer, said in a statement, “Overall, we operated 21 percent more capacity in April than we did in March, though this still represented a 96.8 percent drop compared with the pre-pandemic level in April 2019.”

Lam said Cathay Pacific was cautiously rebuilding its global network, and had recently resumed regular flights to Chengdu, Kaohsiung, Melbourne, Perth, and Xiamen. The lifting of a ban on flights from the United Kingdom earlier this month has allowed the airline to run scheduled services from London Heathrow; Cathay is also planning to restart flights to Fuzhou and Hangzhou at the end of May.

As for the general outlook, Lam feels that not much has changed since recent months: “Looking ahead at the passenger business, we still are not seeing signs of immediate meaningful improvement in overall passenger demand. While we are disappointed with the postponement of the Hong Kong–Singapore Air Travel Bubble flights, we are nevertheless very encouraged by the demand for two-way, all-purpose, quarantine-free air travel flight arrangements among our customers. We look forward to the resumption of our Air Travel Bubble flights.”

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