Cathay Pacific narrows losses but awaits recovery

Cathay Pacific has reported a loss of HK$5.6-6.1 billion (£530-80 million) for financial 2021 as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to extract a huge toll on the carrier.

The figure is, however, an improvement of losses of HK$21.6 billion (£2.05 billion) seen in the prior year.

The improvement was primarily driven by strong cargo demand, high cargo yield and load factors, together with continued focus on effective cash and cost management, the Hong Kong-based airline said.

In addition, the full-year 2020 result included the recognition of one-off items such as impairment charges and restructuring, which were significantly reduced in 2021.

Cathay Pacific chief executive, Augustus Tang, said: “Passenger travel remained extremely subdued throughout 2021, as a result of ongoing travel restrictions and strict quarantine requirements.”

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The airline welcomed just 717,059 passengers last year – compared to the 4.6 million in 2020 and 35.2 million in 2019.

“While passenger travel continued to be acutely affected, cargo demand was strong throughout the year,” continued Tang.

“We carried approximately 1.3 million tonnes of cargo in 2021, which compares to around 1.3 million tonnes in 2020 and 2 million tonnes in 2019. 

“Throughout 2021, we deployed all available capacity to meet the consistently high demand, achieving strong yield and high load factors and transporting a wide range of goods including daily necessities, fresh produce, electrical items and pharmaceutical products.”

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