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Dragonair's passenger volume up 4.7 pct in February
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2006-03-20 17:31

Dragonair posted year-on-year rises in both passenger numbers and cargo volumes for a second consecutive month in February, Dragonair announced on Monday.

The airline flew 4.7 percent more passengers in February than in the same month last year -- 392,005, compared with 374,550. As a result, the number of passengers for the first two months of the year was 10.8 percent higher than in the same period last year.

"Passenger numbers continued their upward trend year-on-year," said Dragonair CEO Stanley Hui. "February posted year-on-year growth of 4.7 percent even though the Lunar New Year fell in the middle of the month last year. This year, just the tail end of the busy holiday period fell in the month. Travel by individuals was particularly strong.

"While the numbers are good, the fact is that the bottom line remains under pressure primarily due to the high oil price. The seasonal slowdown in traffic to the Chinese mainland market in the winter months is another factor that makes the beginning of the year difficult, as always. So even with good passenger traffic growth this year it will be another challenging 12 months," he said.

Cargo volume also rose year-on-year, up 14.1 percent to 24,678 tons last month, while for the first two months of the year the year-on-year increase was 9 percent.

"The rise in the amount of freight carried in February was attributable to the additional cargo capacity in our fleet and the timing of the Lunar New Year in 2006 compared with 2005," Hui noted.

"The period after the Lunar New Year holidays is always slow for air cargo shipments, and this was reflected in the lower month-on-month volume. The air cargo market should recover from early March onwards," he said.

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