Cathay suffers in first half-year
Hong Kong-based carrier Cathay Pacific has reported a loss of HK$935 million (US$121 million) for the first half of this year, contrasting starkly with the HK$2.8 billion (US$362 million) profit achieved in the same period of 2011.
High fuel prices and weak cargo demand were cited as factors that "significantly affected" Cathay's results over the six months.
Indeed, cargo revenue fell by 7.6 percent year-on-year to HK$11.9 billion (US$1.5 billion). Capacity was reduced by 4.3 percent during the period, but the load factor still dropped by 4.1 percentage points to 64.3 percent.
A statement noted that Cathay's two key markets, Hong Kong and mainland China, performed "well below expectations", although the airline did introduce new services to Zhengzhou (March) and Hyderabad (May) in response to rising demand in those locations.
The carrier pointed out that it adjusted capacity and withdrew less fuel-efficient aircraft in order to maintain its business, while keeping its network intact and continuing to invest in new aircraft as well as its new cargo terminal at Hong Kong International airport.
Cathay Pacific chairman Christopher Pratt said: "We will continue to take whatever measures are necessary to protect the business, managing short-term difficulties while remaining committed to our long-term strategy."