Cargo revenue was down 5.2 per cent to HK$11.3bn (£936m) at Cathay Pacific in the first half of 2013, the company said in its interim statement.
Both Cathay and its Dragonair subsidiary had been affected by weak demand in the cargo business April 2011, the group said.
Capacity for Cathay Pacific and Dragonair was down by 1.8 per cent. The load factor was down by 1.9 percentage points to 62.4 per cent. Yield was down by 3.3 per cent to HK$2.33 (£0.19).
Freighter capacity was adjusted in line with demand, it said. “We carried more cargo in the bellies of passenger aircraft to reduce costs. On the plus side, our new cargo terminal at Hong Kong International Airport is expected to be fully operational by the last quarter of 2013, which will reduce costs and improve efficiency in the Group’s cargo business.”
Cathay said it had continued to make major investments in new aircraft, new products and the new cargo terminal at Hong Kong International Airport.
In March 2013, the Group entered into agreements in relation to its cargo fleet as part of a package of transactions among The Boeing Company, Cathay Pacific, Air China Cargo Co., Ltd. and Air China.
Under these transactions, Cathay Pacific agreed to purchase three Boeing 747-8F freighters, for delivery in the second half of 2013, cancelled orders for eight Boeing 777-200F freighters, acquired options to purchase five Boeing 777-200F freighters and agreed to sell four Boeing 747-400BCF converted freighters. Three of the converted freighters have already left the fleet.
Overall, the group made a profit of HK$24m (£2m) compared with a loss of HK$929m (£77m) in the first half of 2012. Sales were down 0.6 per cent to HK$48.5bn (£4bn).