Cathay Pacific cargo traffic grew 26 percent in June over the same month last year but freight business slipped from the month before in what the airline said was a “softening market.”
The Hong Kong-based carrier’s cargo traffic, measured in freight metric-ton kilometers, fell 6.5 percent in June compared to May. Cathay’s tonnage also fell 6.3 percent on a month-to-month basis.
The figures from one of Asia’s largest cargo-carrying airlines comes as airports and other operators in the region are reporting the strong air freight demand growth in the first half of 2010 is leveling off.
“We saw some softening in the market in June compared to previous months and the increase in tonnage was only just ahead of the increase in capacity for the month,” said James Woodrow, Cathay’s general manager for cargo sales and marketing.
Cathay was among many airlines that scaled back capacity in droves during the economic downturn, but the airline says it now has restored all the freighter aircraft it had parked in storage.
Cathay’s freight capacity was up 7.1 percent in the first half of this year compared to last year. The airline also expanded capacity 19.2 percent in June over the same month in 2009, and that brought the cargo load factor down 3.7 percentage points from May to June.
Woodrow said overall demand “remained robust out of the key Hong Kong and Shanghai markets, particularly on trans-Pacific routes.”