Cathay Pacific warns of silent peak cargo season

Cathay Pacific, one of the world’s largest air cargo operators, has revised its cargo schedule for its busiest sailing season, but expects the upcoming peak season to be different from previous ones.

Cathay Pacific expects the winter freight season to be different from previous years. Photo: Jared Jamel

Cathay Pacific has started to resume more passenger services after the Hong Kong government announced the easing of entry restrictions. This could help the airline diversify its balance sheet given that most of its revenue over the past two years has come from cargo operations. In addition to the move, its comprehensive cargo operations program and the fitting out of some passenger aircraft for regional cargo services only indicate that the airline is aiming to increase its cargo capacity. Frosti Lau, Cathay’s general manager for freight service delivery, said “this additional capacity will help us prepare for a peak in traffic, although we anticipate it may not be as sustained and pronounced. than last year”. Cathay Pacific has also increased the frequency of its flights to the United States and offers daily flights to London (LHR).

The last quarter of the year, as well as busy holidays such as Christmas, are often considered high season for cargo airlines. However, inflation, supply chain disruptions and Covid-19 restrictions in China have created a lot of uncertainty about consumer demand and production capacity. Market demand on eastbound Trans-Pacific and westbound Far East-Europe routes remains weak.

New high-tech gadgets launching this winter could help boost Cathay’s freight revenue. Photo: Lucas Wu

Rumors of new high-tech gadgets due later this year could help boost freight demand as they are exported around the world. It will be particularly important for Cathay to work with partner organizations and suppliers to ensure efficiency during this time. Lau went on to add, “While flights are being adjusted, we are working with our suppliers at outlying ports to ensure they are ready to handle our flights smoothly and to avoid some of the disruptions we have. observed after the pandemic.

More importantly, amid this period of freight uncertainty, Cathay remains optimistic. Patrick Healey, president of Cathay Pacific, announced that revenue from the cargo division will increase 9.3% to $1.5 billion in the first half of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021.

Carol N. Valencia