Hong Kong based Cathay Pacific, the world’s largest cargo airline reports a 2.5% y-o-y decline of cargo revenues during the first half of 2015.

An improved cargo load factor at Cathay Pacific and Dragonair was not enough to stop a decline in yield as industry overcapacity and lower fuel surcharges had an effect on the airline group’s first-half performance.

Increased demand in cargo began last year and continued through the first few months of 2015, but fell away in the second quarter, Cathay reports. It said performance was affected by overcapacity in the industry and added that a “significant reduction in fuel surcharges put downward pressure on yield”.

Lower fuel prices were welcome, but these were partially offset by fuel hedging losses. The first half of 2015 saw Cathay change its fleet. It had been agreed in 2014 that six Boeing 747-400 Freighters in the Cathay Pacific fleet would be sold back to Boeing.

Two of these freighters have since been delivered, one in November 2014, the other in July 2015. The remaining four freighters will leave the fleet by the end of 2016. As of 30 June 2015, the group had 72 aircraft on order for delivery up to 2024.

“The operating environment was generally positive in the first half of 2015. Passenger and cargo demand was generally strong. Said John Slosar, Cathay Pacific chairman. “Yield remained under pressure and there is increasing congestion at Hong Kong International Airport. We strongly support the construction of a third runway at the airport and believe that construction should start as soon as possible.

And he continues by stating We think the Airport Authority Hong Kong can, and should, finance the construction itself without burdening airport users unduly with additional charges. Airport charges must be competitive if Hong Kong’s aviation, tourism and related industries are to continue to grow.”

He finalized by sating “We will continue to invest in aircraft, our products and the development of our network. Our financial position remains strong.”