• Cathay Pacific has experienced a surge in passenger demand, carrying 1,744,374 passengers in July, marking an improvement of 693.8% compared to last year.
  • Bookings for 2023 are up 1,622% compared to last year, with an 818.9% increase in flight capacity. Passenger loads are also strong, with flights on average being 89.3% full.
  • Cathay Pacific is currently operating at 60% of pre-pandemic capacity, with plans to reach 70% by the end of the year and a goal to return to 100% by the end of 2024.
  • North America, Europe, and North East Asia are the most popular destinations for the airline.

It's been a busy month for oneworld alliance member Cathay Pacific, which has released its figures for July, identifying a surge in passenger demand, carrying 1,744,374 passengers. Compared to last year, it's an improvement of 693.8%.

As we're all aware, travel demand post-pandemic continues to rise; Cathay Pacific isn't immune to that either, having been decimated during the pandemic and effectively grounded.

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777
Photo: Cathay Pacific

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A busy year so far

Initial reports from Cathay highlight that 2023 bookings are up 1,622% compared to last year, against an 818.9% increase in overall flight capacity. Passenger loads are looking good, too, with flights on average being 89.3% full.

Cargo is up too, transporting 115,729 tonnes last month, a 14.9% improvement, with the average operation carrying 59.8% of its potential capacity. While these figures aren't as impressive as passenger results, overall growth is at 4%, with positive volumes coming from e-commerce and the airlines Cathay Fresh solution, where the airline emphasizes delicate and quick cargo for perishable goods.

Cathay cabin crew
Photo: Cathay Pacific

When comparing June and July, Cathay Pacific added 11% more flights monthly, increasing demand across its global network. In a statement from the airline, Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Lavinia Lau noted that the airline saw high long-haul service demand and stated:

“July marks the beginning of the traditional summer peak for passenger travel, and we are very pleased to see that demand has been strong. We continued to add more capacity for our customers – 11% more compared with June – primarily on our North America, Europe, Japan, and Southeast Asia services catering to the rising demand for visiting friends and relatives (VFR) and leisure travel."

60% of pre-pandemic capacity

Cathay is operating at 60% of what it was before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, with aspirations for that number to reach 70% by the end of the year. The carrier also looks to extend its network to 80 destinations by the end of 2023.

The airline doesn't plan on resting on its laurels next year either, with plans to return to 100% of pre-pandemic capacity and operations by the end of 2024.

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777 FLE_7ER_C061Y15_E0-1
Photo: Cathay Pacific

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Flights to the United States and Canada remain the most popular destinations for the Hong Kong-based airline, transporting more than 1.855 million passengers in July and over ten million this year. Next up is Europe, having had 1.816 million passengers take flight.

Looking closer to home, North East Asia saw over one million travelers take off, a profound change from last year. China, Japan, and South Korea re-opened their borders; this represents a 4,836.5% increase on previous years' capacity and operations.

A Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER on the taxiway at Hong Kong Airport.
Photo: Cathay Pacific

Overall, for July, Cathay Pacific took flight 3,662 times, representing an improvement of 112.6% when compared to this time last year, adding to its total of 21,762 flights a year to date, a positive increase of 133.2% in comparison to operations in 2022.

  • Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-367(ER) B-KPM
    Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying
    Cathay Pacific
    IATA/ICAO Code:
    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier
    Hong Kong International Airport
    Year Founded:
    Augustus Tang
    China (Special Administrative Region)
  • Asia Pacific Airlines, 2020 Loss, COVID-19
    Hong Kong International Airport
    IATA/ICAO Code:
    China (Special Administrative Region)
    Fred Lam
    Passenger Count :
    1,196,000 (2021)
    Runways :
    07R/25L - 3,800m (12,467ft) |07L/25R - 3,800m (12,467ft)
    Terminal 1 |Terminal 2