HONG KONG, 16 December 2021: Cathay Pacific released traffic
figures for November 2021 on Wednesday that continued to reflect the airline’s
substantial capacity reductions as well as travel and quarantine restrictions
in Hong Kong and other markets amid the ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic.

Cathay Pacific carried 70,047 passengers last month, an
increase of 85.2% compared to November 2020, but a 97.3% decrease compared to
the pre-pandemic level in November 2019. The month’s revenue passenger
kilometres (RPKs) rose 87.1% year-on-year but were down 96% versus November
2019.

Passenger load factor increased by 8.2 percentage points to
26.8%, while capacity, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs), increased
by 29.5% but remained 88.2% down on November 2019 levels. In the first 11
months of 2021, the number of passengers carried dropped by 86.4% against a
65.1% decrease in capacity and an 82.1% decrease in RPKs, as compared to the
same period for 2020.

The airline carried 135,350 tonnes of cargo last month, an
increase of 15.8% compared to November 2020, but a 23.9% decrease compared with
the same period in 2019. The month’s cargo revenue tonne-kilometres (RFTKs)
rose 15.5% year-on-year but were down 14% compared to November 2019. The cargo
load factor increased by 4.3 percentage points to 82.6%, while capacity,
measured in available cargo tonne-kilometres (AFTKs), was up by 9.5%
year-on-year but was down 28.6% versus November 2019. In the first 11 months of
2021, the tonnage decreased by 1.1% against a 12.5% drop in capacity and a 2.3%
decrease in RFTKs, as compared to the same period for 2020.

Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Ronald Lam commented:
“The operating environment for our travel business continued to be extremely
challenging in November. Following the reopening of borders in the US and
Australia, we increased our flight frequencies to cater for the rise in demand.
We also managed to capture pockets of travel demand within Asia and resumed our
Madrid and Milan services. Overall, we operated slightly more passenger flight
capacity in November than we did in October. It represented approximately 12%
of our pre-pandemic passenger flight capacity compared to November 2019.

“However, the slowdown in traffic, particularly student travel,
from both Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland to the UK had an impact on our
overall travel volume. On average, we carried about 5% fewer passengers per day
in November than we did in the previous month.

“November delivered an exceptionally strong cargo peak
period, as expected. Air cargo demand was consistently robust across our
markets. In addition to underlying air cargo demand remaining strong, we also
carried products that would usually be shipped by sea as retailers looked to
replenish low inventories to meet customer demand. Inbound demand to our hub
was also healthy as seasonal products, such as Beaujolais wine from France to
Japan and cherries from the Southern Hemisphere to Asia, were shipped
throughout the month.

“To provide more capacity for our customers, we managed to
operate approximately 71% of our pre-pandemic cargo capacity compared to
November 2019, which was the highest level since the onset of the pandemic. We
operated a record-high 1,035 pairs of cargo-only passenger flights. We
re-commenced our seasonal cargo service between Hobart and Hong Kong towards
the end of November, providing an opportunity for Tasmanian producers to easily
access key Asian markets directly. We also launched our new digital
cargo-booking platform, Click & Ship, which is being progressively rolled
out across our network. The platform promises to book transparency and speed,
enabling customers to view prices and capacity and book cargo shipments with
instant confirmation.

Looking forward

“As we approach the end of 2021, we continue to face significant challenges, especially for our travel business. The emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant has had an impact on sentiment for travel over the holiday season. Furthermore, our ability to operate flights as planned remains affected in light of the latest travel restrictions, including the Hong Kong SAR Government’s tightening of quarantine requirements for many of our major markets and the subsequent operational constraints. As such, we adjusted our flight schedule for December and we aim to operate no more than 12% of our pre-pandemic passenger flight capacity for the rest of the month. We continue to closely monitor developments as we review our passenger flight schedule for January and beyond,” Lam concluded.