The growth was driven by recovery in traffic to and from Northeast Asia (+15.5%), following last year’s Japanese disasters, and continued upturn in the Chinese market (+10.4%). Extra capacity into North America also helped boost Cathay’s trans-Atlantic passenger traffic (+13.7%). European traffic remained subdued however, edging up just 0.3% in the January-June 2012 period.
The rise in demand also kept largely in line with the airline’s expansion of available seat capacity (+6.9%), meaning that average cabin load factors climbed fractionally, from 79.3% in H1 2011 to 80.1% in the first half of this year.
“Our flights were busy in June in the build-up to the summer peak season,” said Cathay’s General Manager of Revenue Management, James Tong. “Passenger volumes rose above the increase in capacity, which shows that the demand is there, but we continued to see yield coming under pressure in all cabins last month. Demand remains particularly robust within the region and to North America, though we expect most routes to show high load factors over the summer peak.”