Cathay Pacific Airways expects air cargo demand to remain weak for at least another four weeks after reporting an 11 percent year-over-year decrease in cargo and mail volume in July.
The decline came despite a 4.2 percent increase in capacity, pushing the cargo load factor at Cathay Pacific and subsidiary Dragonair down 9.4 percentage points to 66.6 percent.
Combined tonnage at Cathay and Dragonair was down 5.2 percent in the first seven months of the year against a 12.9 percent year-over-year gain in capacity.
"We expect the markets to remain soft through to mid-September, said James Woodrow, Cathay Pacific’s general manager of cargo sales and marketing. "However, our long-term confidence in Hong Kong as an airfreight hub was confirmed by our order for eight new Boeing 777-200 freighters.”
Cargo at Hong Kong International Airport fell 6.1 percent in July, the five straight monthly decline. But handler Asia Airfreight Terminal beat the market with tonnage last month falling just 2 percent to 60,088 metric tons.
“It may be prudent to watch the U.S. and European economy for its ripple effect on Asian markets in the coming months,” said Kenneth Yeung, AAT general manager for corporate development.
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