Cathay Pacific’s seating upgrade figures disappoint firm

Joseph Millis
Cathay Pacific is benefiting from a rise in cargo volumes
Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific yesterday reported slower than expected passenger traffic for October after an anticipated upswing in demand for its premium economy seats failed to materialise.

The airline, which introduced premium cabins as a cheaper alternative to business class much later than many rivals, said that its passenger traffic increased five per cent in October, year-on-year.This was less than Cathay had hoped for.

General manager of revenue management Patricia Hwang said: “Traffic growth was generally slower than hoped across the network in October and the upswing in the premium cabins was also below expectations.

She added that while de­mand for Euro­pean routes was good, Cathay was not managing to fill its seats on those to North America. “The growth in passenger numbers on our North America routes continued to fall short of the sizeable increase in capacity.”

However, demand for its freight services remained buoyant last month, driven by demand for IT products out of Hong Kong and mainland China. Cargo volumes rose 14 per cent in October, year-over-year.

General manager cargo sales & marketing Mark Sutch said: “North America remains the focus of our business and we strengthened our network further last month with the launch of a new freighter service to Calgary… Intra-Asia freight is an increasingly important part of our business and we will launch a new twice-weekly service to Phnom Penh this month.”

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