Hong Kong-based carrier Cathay Pacific (0923.HK) is "reasonably confident" about its prospects for 2011 based on expectations of continued strong demand in China, Bloomberg reported. "The emergence of China as a travel market is going to be one of the big stories of the decade," said John Slosar, the company’s chief operating officer. Cathay estimates that passenger capacity will grow 11% in 2011 while rising Chinese consumer demand for high-value goods spurs the cargo business. The airline’s Shanghai-based cargo venture, run with affiliate Air China (AIRC.LSE, 601111.SH, 0753.HK), is due to begin operations no later than February. It will face competition from China Eastern Airlines (CEA.NYSE, 600115.SH, 0670.HK), which plans to consolidate its different cargo businesses with the support of Singapore Airlines (C6L.SGX) and EVA Airways (2618.TW). Cathay carried 24.5 million passengers in the first 11 months of 2010, up 11% year-on-year. It plans to spend US$129 million upgrading business-class cabins and services to attract more premium travelers.