Cathay Cargo revenues down, despite increasing volumes in H12023

Published: Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Cathay Cargo saw its revenues decline in the first half of the year despite increasing volumes.

The Hong Kong-hubbed carrier saw first-half cargo revenues decline by 10.1% year on year to HK$12.4bn, while volumes increased by 23.8% on last year to 651,000 tons.

Capacity measured in available cargo ton km increased by 117% on last year to 6.1bn and the cargo load factor declined by 12 percentage points to 63.8%.

The increase in volumes comes despite the overall market reporting a decline. This can be explained by the fact that the airline’s operations in the first half of last year were heavily curtailed by the Covid restrictions.

The airline’s cargo volumes also benefitted from the reopening of borders in the Chinese Mainland early in the year, which led to more cross-border trucking services.

Also, Cathay Cargo and the Cathay Cargo Terminal were the first carrier and cargo terminal operator to utilize the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) Logistics Park in Dongguan.

“This enables us to offer our customers seamless sea-air shipments from the Greater Bay Area directly into Hong Kong International Airport for outbound airfreight,” the company explained.

Meanwhile, the drop off in revenues is explained by a “weaker global market for air cargo” which has resulted in rate declines.

This is reflected in a 51.7% decline in the airline’s yields to HK$2.76.

Looking ahead, the company chairman Patrick Healy expected a continued return to normal for its cargo operations.

“In terms of our cargo business, we expect it will continue to moderate compared with the exceptional levels of the past three years,” he said.

“Nevertheless, we anticipate a continued solid performance throughout the second half of 2023 with some tonnage improvements towards the end of the third quarter as we enter the traditional peak period.”

The overall Cathay Pacific business posted its first half-year profit in three years.

For the six months to June 30, the airline group was HK$8.8bn in the black at the operating level, reversing the HK$1.3bn operating loss in the year-ago period.

Group revenue more than doubled to HK$43.6bn.