Cathay Pacific Releases February 2023 Traffic Figures

The Hong Kong–based legacy carrier has continued on its upward trajectory seen at the start of the year.

A Cathay Pacific Boeing 777 takes off from Hong Kong International Airport.

A Cathay Pacific Boeing 777 takes off from Hong Kong International Airport. (Photo: Cathay Pacific)

Hong Kong may have been the last major international aviation hub to reopen to the world, but the city’s home airline is making up for lost time. Cathay Pacific carried a total of 1,114,727 passengers last month, a whopping 3,467 percent more than it did in February 2022. This represents a slight increase on the 1,031,893 people transported in January, and significantly more than December’s tally of 801,088. The overall passenger load factor climbed by 38.6 percentage points to 86.2 percent.

In a statement, Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Lavinia Lau said in that passenger numbers further improved after the Lunar New Year holidays, and daily figures in February averaged almost 40,000. Last month, Cathay increased capacity by about six percent month-on-month and resumed flights to the southeastern Chinese city of Wenzhou. Lau added that travel demand was especially strong on routes between Hong Kong and mainland China, and demand for short-haul flights to Taipei and Kaohsiung rose in the last week of February, after Taiwan lifted all restrictions on residents of Hong Kong and Macau. The airline executive also noted a growing appetite for travel in premium cabins, whether for business or leisure.

The Cathay Group now aims to reach approximately half of its pre-pandemic passenger flight capacity by the end of this month, by which time it will restart services to Shanghai Hongqiao and Haikou and cover more than 70 destinations. March 26 will mark the return of first class aboard select flights to/from Beijing and Los Angeles; the Cathay Pacific Lounge at Beijing Capital International Airport has already reopened. The carrier plans to ramp up frequencies to Japan from the current 73 to 120 return flights per week ahead of the summer peak, while London Heathrow will begin to see five daily flights on select dates in April.

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