Cathay sees over 1M passengers in January, first since Covid

Cathay Pacific carried a total of 1,031,893 passengers in January, an increase of 4,077.9 percent compared with January 2022. The passenger load factor also increased by 46.4 percentage points to 86.8 percent.

Commenting on the airline’s performance, Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Lavinia Lau said the new year got off to a positive start in January as Cathay Pacific carried more than one million passengers for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic.

“We carried on average more than 33,000 passengers per day, up from about 26,000 per day in December 2022, and operated at 18 percent more capacity than we did in December. We also continued to add more destinations in January, with our Phuket and Xi’an flights resuming,” said Lau.

Lau also said that with the return of quarantine-free travel between Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland on 8 January, the airline saw increased demand for travel into the Chinese Mainland, both from and through Hong Kong.

“We have been increasing our flights accordingly, and by the end of the month, we were operating up to three return flights per day to Shanghai and 11 return flights per week to Beijing,” she said.

She added that leisure travel demand over the Lunar New Year holiday was also strong, particularly from Hong Kong, with Japan, Bangkok, and Singapore being the most popular destinations.

However, she said despite the demand being high for Japan, the airline had to cancel some of the flights due to restrictions imposed by the Japanese authorities on the number of flights airlines are permitted to operate from Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, Lau noted that Cathay Pacific is working to increase its passenger flight capacity over the coming months, especially in the lead-up to the Easter holiday.

“We are on track to operate more than 100 return flights per week to 14 cities in the Chinese Mainland by the end of this month,” said Lau.