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Dragonair sees 80% rise in freight carried in January

Dragonair (www.dragonair.com) recorded a year-on-year rise of 79.8% in the amount of freight carried in January. The airline carried 11,010 tonnes of freight in the month, compared with 6,125 tonnes in January 2001. The rise is attributed to expanded capacity and increased frequencies.

"Cargo continues to hold up relatively well, which bodes well for the rest of the year," said Stanley Hui, Dragonair CEO. "The increase in frequencies we introduced at the end of last year have helped, as it offers our customers more options and they see we are committed to serving their needs."

Year-on-year passenger numbers, meanwhile, were off 7% in January 2002, due to the busy Lunar New Year holiday falling in January in 2001 and boosting figures then. The airline carried 196,206 people in the month, compared with 210,948 in the same period one year earlier.

Month-on-month figures for both passengers and cargo were lower, in line with expectations. "Travel peaked in December with the traditional Christmas and end-of-year trips," said Hui. "January was expected to be quieter ahead of the Lunar New Year."

Dragonair is currently in the midst of a programme to more than double its fleet by the end of 2005. The Hong Kong-based airline operates a fleet of seven A330-300s, three A321s and seven A320s, in addition to two Boeing freighters. Its passenger network covers 27 destinations across the Asia-Pacific region, while its cargo network connects the markets of Europe, the Middle East, Japan and China.