Cathay back in black, but cargo lags on world trade tensions

HONG KONG's Cathay Pacific group was back in the black with profits of HK$1

08 August 2019 - 19:00

HONG KONG's Cathay Pacific group was back in the black with profits of HK$1.3 billion (US$165.8 million) for the first half compared with a loss of HK$263 million last year, helped by a decline in fuel costs.

'We are in the final year of our three-year transformation programme to make our businesses leaner, more agile and able to compete more effectively,' said chairman John Slosar.

'Work continues as evidenced by our return to profitability in 2018. Our positive performance continued in the first half of 2019, but the operating environment for our airlines worsened as geopolitical and trade tensions intensified,' Mr Slosar said.

Rising passenger revenue and lower fuel costs helped to offset a decline in the air cargo market linked to the US-China trade war.

Cathay's first-half revenue rose 0.9 per cent to HK$53.55 billion at a time when passenger capacity increased by 6.7 per cent.

The airline group said that the cargo revenue decline reflected weaker global trade brought about in part by the US-China trade tensions.

Flown cargo capacity of Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon increased by 1.1m per cent, principally due to additional belly cargo space in newly acquired passenger aircraft.

'Facing weak demand, we rationalised freighter capacity and emphasised shipments of specialist cargo,' the carrier said.

As a result of the capacity increase, load factor decreased 4.9 percentage points to 63.4 per cent.


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