MALAYSIAN Airline System Bhd (MAS) passenger and cargo volumes have returned to their pre- September 11 levels, say officials.
MAS senior general manager of sales, distribution and marketing Ahmad Fuaad Dahlan said passenger load factor has increased to 72 per cent for the summer schedule — June to August 2002.
He, however, said MAS, which slashed airfares by 40 per cent in certain segments after the September 11 incidents, has no immediate plans to increase the fares.
MAS’ passenger load factor averaged at 74.8 per cent for the year ended March 31 2001. The figure hovered between 50 per cent and 60 per cent right after the September 11 event.
Meanwhile, MAS senior general manager for cargo operations JJ Ong said MASKargo Sdn Bhd, the carrier’s wholly-owned cargo subsidiary, may record profits by March 31 2003.
He said MASKargo had registered more than 60 per cent load factor in the past few months compared with some 40 per cent previously.
“We budgeted a marginal loss for the 2003 financial year but we may be able to see profits after all,” he told Business Times in Kelana Jaya, yesterday.
MASKargo contributed 20 per cent to MAS’ revenues in the year ended March 31 2001, with total freight uplift of 326,700 tonnes.
Based on its 2001 annual report, the cargo operations registered a RM169.9 million loss in that financial year and a RM159.6 million in the 2000.
Similarly, across the region, Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Cathay Pacific Airways has also registered higher traffic figures for May 2002.
Analysts contributed the increasing trend in passenger and cargo volumes to the return of consumer confidence towards in flight safety and the global economic recovery.
SIA said its passenger load factor increased to 72 per cent in May, while cargo load factor rose to 68.4 per cent.
Cathay Pacific, in a statement yesterday, said the airline carried 972,925 passengers and 66,430 tonnes of cargo last month, up 2.1 per cent and 21 per cent, respectively, from the same month last year.
Its passenger load factor for the month was 74.4 per cent while cargo load factor was 69.5 per cent.
“The surge in exports is sustaining the recovery in cargo volumes. Passenger traffic has also recovered but business travel demand remains relatively weak and yields are still soft,” said Cathay Pacific general manager revenue management, sales and distribution, Ian Shu.