All the signs are growing that air freight volumes in Asia will rebound this year, but Cathay Pacific posted a surprising 5 percent decline in cargo in December despite boosting capacity.
“After seeing strong demand throughout November, the seasonal airfreight peak began to fizzle out in mid-December,” said Mark Sutch, general manager cargo sales & marketing.
“There were some late charter requests to capture last-minute pre-Christmas demand on the transpacific lanes, but by the third week in the month we had reduced our freighter schedule to pre-peak levels.”
Total tonnage carried by Cathay and Dragonair in 2013 fell 1.5 percent year-on-year, while capacity was up 1.7 percent.
In late December, Cathay Pacific confirmed that it will order another Boeing 747-8 freighter, with delivery scheduled for 2016.
Cathay Pacific Chief Executive John Slosar observed that the 747-8F will form the “backbone” of the air cargo carrier’s freighter fleet. With this additional order, Cathay will operate 14 of the aircraft in 2016.