By Clarence Leong
Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. said it is on course to offer to fly to nearly 60 destinations by the end of the year, as Hong Kong’s recent removal of hotel-quarantine requirements for arrivals helped boost travel sentiment.
The airline said Monday that it carried 265,845 passengers in September, just about double the amount from a year earlier, though the figure is still down 89% compared with prepandemic levels in September 2019.
Its passenger load factor improved 26.7 percentage points to 72.5% last month, Cathay added.
“We remain focused on adding as many passenger flights as we can,” Cathay’s chief customer and commercial officer, Ronald Lam, said in a statement.
Cathay flies to 51 destinations in October and is on track to double the number of destinations offered from 29 in January by year’s end, he said.
For its cargo segment, the load factor fell 13.3 percentage points to 66.4%. The decrease in cargo demand was bigger than anticipated mainly due to weaker consumer demand and reduced manufacturing activities in China, the company said.
But it expects demand in China to strengthen in the latter part of the month and is “positive that there will be solid demand over the traditional cargo peak period.”
“While it will not reach the levels achieved last year, we expect it to still be above historical averages,” Cathay said.
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