Hong Kong’s flag carrier Cathay Pacific reported a slight decrease in passenger traffic in September 2021. The drop from the previous month was attributed to travel restrictions and quarantine requirements in Hong Kong.

The figures for September 2021 show that Cathay Pacific carried a total of 131,774 passengers, a slight decrease compared to August 2021, when the airline carried 135,353 passengers. 

During the month, passenger load factor  increased to 45.8% compared to September 2020, Meanwhile capacity increased by 40.4% from 2020, but remained 87.4% down against the pre-pandemic levels of September 2019. 

According to the airline, students travelling from Mainland China were the key driver for demand in September 2021. Lam added that “passengers travelling within Asia via Hong Kong” have also contributed to the airline’s performance during the month.

Looking ahead to October 2021, Cathay Pacific said it will be continuing to monitor “the opportunities for demand from the relaxation of quarantine requirements for travellers flying to various markets”, mostly the United States. 

Compared to its rival Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY), which  reached 32% of its pre-COVID passenger capacity in September 2021, Cathay Pacific operated only approximately 13% of pre-pandemic levels when compared to September 2019.

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SIA expects passenger capacity to reach 37% of pre-pandemic levels.