Cathay Pacific Cuts Losses as Restrictions Ease

The Cathay Pacific Group expects revenues to continue to grow as Hong Kong eases Covid restrictions.



August 10, 2022

DALLAS - Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Group has announced that it has managed to reduce its losses for the first six months of 2022 to June 30.

The group, which includes airlines Cathay Pacific (CX), HK Express (UO), and Air Hong Kong (LD), posted an operating loss of HK$1.3bn during the period. This compared to the record loss of HK$5.4bn for the same period the year before. Net loss stood at around HK$5bn, compared to HK$7.6bn in 2021.

Listen to this article:

HK Express was acquired by the Cathay Pacific Group in 2019. Photo: HK Express

Passenger Numbers Rise

CX has seen passenger numbers double to 335,000 during the last six months, leading to revenue in passenger services increasing to HK$2.1bn. However, the number remains 95.2% down on pre-pandemic levels. Management expects this figure to be approaching a quarter of pre-pandemic numbers by the end of the year.

Following the announcement, shares in the company rose by as much as 3.3%, their highest since June 2020.

The results come despite what the airline calls a "particularly unfavorable" operating environment. This includes the strict rules implemented by the Hong Kong authorities for operating aircrew, who are required to quarantine for three nights in a hotel on their return from each trip.

As restrictions ease, the airline is bringing more aircraft out of storage. Photo: Cathay Pacific

Falling Behind

Quarantine restrictions for passengers have recently eased, which has helped boost passenger numbers. But these restrictions have severely impacted the group's recovery compared to other carriers in the region.

In a statement, Cathay Pacific Chairman Patrick Healy said: "It is quite clear that Hong Kong has fallen far behind other international aviation hubs, and that our regional competitors have recovered much faster from the disruptions caused by the global pandemic,"

"These ongoing constraints also restrict our ability to mount additional capacity despite growing demand. Once all COVID-related restrictions on aircrew can be lifted, we will then progressively be able to increase both cargo and passenger capacity in the months that follow," he added.

Featured Image: CX operates both the A350-900 and the larger -1000 series. Photo: Luca Flores/Airways