18-Jun-2013 11:44 AM

Cathay Pacific expects robust demand for leisure travel in summer 2013, Japan seeing strong growth

Cathay Pacific, in the Jun-2013 edition of CX World Magazine, stated (Jun-2013) it is anticipating robust demand for leisure travel in summer 2013 following strong performances during Easter and Chinese New Year, with the spotlight falling on Japan. Cathay Pacific and Dragonair plan to operate 94 extra sectors on top of adding 2.7% more seats in their scheduled services in Jul-2013 and Aug-2013. Cathay Pacific GM revenue management James Tong stated: "We carried more than 80,000 passengers every day on average during last year’s summer peak. This year we expect to overtake that number as we expand our network and increase capacity". The carrier also noted that prospects are "particularly bright" in Japan, helped by the depreciation of the Japanese yen. Advanced bookings show "overwhelming demand "for almost all Japanese destinations, especially Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, Okinawa, and Sapporo, the carrier said, noting that to maximise uptake, extra sectors and charters will be operated to Sapporo and Nagasaki. The carrier also said that other bright spots in the regional network include Taiwan’s Taipei and Taichung, new Dragonair destination Da Nang, and the usual holiday hotspots in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. In the long-haul network, the carrier noted: "London’s fifth-daily flight, introduced in late June, is the star of the long-haul network so far with strong bookings. Demand for destinations in North America, UK and European is also healthy". The carrier also noted that the avian flu outbreak in Mainland China is causing a dent in passenger numbers, in particular affecting group bookings for inbound traffic to Eastern China. GM sales Pearl River Delta and Hong Kong Lavinia Lau explained: “China had been weak even before the H7N9 incident, but the revenue gap has widened further since April. As the media starts to ease on the negative coverage, we’ve decided to work on a promotional campaign to stimulate leisure traffic to China once again.” The carrier also said that the shift of market sentiment to Japan has a natural impact on demand for Korea, while "stiff competition in Taiwan is causing yield to come under pressure, despite high passenger volumes". The carrier added: "Summer is not a peak season for business travel, and demand out of the key Hong Kong market continues to remain soft". [more - original PR]

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