17-Feb-2011 4:27 PM

Cathay expects Chinese New Year traffic to be down on 2010

Cathay Pacific, in the Jan-2011 edition of CX World, stated traffic in the Chinese New Year peak is anticipated to be down on last year due to the holiday being closer to Christmas and the strength of the yen dampening demand to Japan. However, GM Revenue Management Tom Owen stated the "quality of the booking has improved over 2010". He also stated that for 1Q2011 "a lot will hinge on the strength of Chinese New Year and how the traditionally slower months of February and March develop". "Competitors are getting increasingly active and there is a lot more capacity to fill than last year," Mr Owen said. Meanwhile, there are signs that premium traffic "will continue to hold up well across most of the network" although Mr Owen noted that the quality of demand in the economy cabins on Africa, London and European routes is "becoming a challenge early on this year". The carrier's freight operations reported a stronger-than-expected Dec-2010 as it benefitted from competitors cancelling services. However, cargo has been "quiet" in the first half of February - as a result the carrier is reducing its core schedule to allow heavy maintenance on freighters. The carrier has emerged from 2010 with its business "in good shape" with COO John Slosar stating he is "reasonably confident" about prospects for 2011.

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