Cathay Pacific posts record HK$21.65b annual loss because of pandemic

[SYDNEY] Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways reported on Wednesday a record annual loss of HK$21.65 billion (S$3.76 billion), caused by a sharp downturn in travel associated with the pandemic, restructuring costs and fleet writedowns.

The 2020 loss compared with 2019 profit of HK$1.69 billion and was worse than an average forecast for a net loss of HK$19.9 billion by 13 analysts, according to Refinitiv.

Cathay had warned it expected the second-half loss to be "significantly higher" than the record first-half loss of HK$9.87 billion.

"Market conditions remain challenging and dynamic," Cathay chairman Patrick Healy said in a statement. "All our cash preservation measures will continue unabated."

Cathay lacks a domestic market at a time when international borders are largely closed. In December, Cathay's passenger numbers fell by 98.7 per cent compared with a year earlier, though cargo carriage was down by a smaller 32.3 per cent.

Nearly 60 per cent of its 2020 revenue of HK$47.9 billion was from its cargo operations, up from around 20 per cent in 2019.



BT is now on Telegram!

For daily updates on weekdays and specially selected content for the weekend. Subscribe to