Cathay Pacific To Finally Report A Profit

Daniel Fowkes
25 Nov 2023
· Airlines 
Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 registered as B-LRJ arriving into London Heathrow

Cathay Pacific reported its traffic figures for October 2023 and additionally highlighted it’s on the verge of declaring a profit.

Traffic Figures For October 2023

Cathay Pacific said for October 2023, it carried 1,684,799 passengers. This represented a 320.2% rise compared to one year prior.

Cathay Pacific and HK Express saw the combined milestone of surpassing more than 9,000 passenger flight sectors in the month.

This is a massive milestone and represents the first time the company has hit this figure since before the pandemic.

For October’s revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs), there was a 225.8% increase over the same period one year prior. Meanwhile, load factors also increased by 11.1% to now 84.7%.

Available seat kilometres also increased by 183.1% thanks to solid results.

For Cathay, this has all been topped off by an 887% increase in the number of passengers carried in the first ten months of 2023 compared to 2022.

Cathay Closes In On A Profit

While Cathay Pacific says it’ll make a loss throughout the year thanks to increased demand, it believes it’ll be profitable for the year’s second half.

This is off the back of a solid last three months for the business. For Cathay Pacific, such a development is vast, considering their lows only a year and a half ago.

A Hard Few Years At The Airline

Cathay Pacific was arguably one of the more impacted carriers during the global pandemic, not aided by harsh restrictions around Hong Kong.

Despite the recovery of other global markets, Hong Kong lagged with tight restrictions still being implemented.

As a result, the major global airline saw passenger traffic plummet to levels worse than 99% with little to no signs of improvement.

Serious concerns thus arrived at the Group, including how it would recover, if at all. However, following the easing of restrictions, Cathay has been able to rapidly return to markets globally and has seen a substantial increase in traffic.

Comments From Executives

Our travel business continued to see good demand in October, though the overall passenger mix was different from previous months. The elevated levels of student traffic seen in September subsided as the new school year started. However, we saw an increase in business travel as people attended exhibitions and conventions in Hong Kong as well as trade fairs in nearby Guangzhou, resulting in encouraging passenger volumes in the premium cabins. The Chung Yeung Festival long weekend in Hong Kong also drove good leisure travel demand to various regional destinations.

Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Lavinia Lau

Future Outlook

For the remainder of the calendar year, the airline will continue to build on the strengths it experienced in the first ten months.

As a Group, comprising Cathay Pacific and HK Express, we are on track to achieve our 2023 rebuild target set out late last year. In December 2023, we expect to operate 70% of our pre-pandemic passenger flights covering about 80 destinations. In terms of satisfying post-pandemic travel demand, our priority has first and foremost been on facilitating Hong Kong people travelling from and visitors coming to Hong Kong. In those two directions, we project that we will be back to 95% of pre-pandemic passenger numbers by the end of 2023. As we further rebuild, we will add more transit traffic via the Hong Kong hub as well.

Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Lavinia Lau

2024 will represent another massive year for the Cathay Group as they look towards further rebuilding their flight schedule.

While supply chain issues continue to impact the Group, they remain optimistic about their future outlook amid a challenging few years.

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