Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific flags up to US$893.77 million loss in 2022

HONG Kong:Despite predicting a loss of between HK$6.40 billion (US$817.18 million) and HK$7.00 billion for the fiscal year 2022, Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. underlined a positive outlook. Following the relaxation of quarantine regulations in Hong Kong and mainland China.

According to Refinitiv statistics, analysts had predicted a loss of HK$4.17 billion for the twelve months ended Dec. 31; nevertheless, the airline reported a loss of HK$5.53 billion for the fiscal year that concluded on that date.

Cathay’s pessimistic view comes after the firm predicted a “substantial” annual loss in November. Despite the fact that the carrier stated at the time that its second-half results were anticipated to improve sequentially.

The gloomy outlook is consistent with those made by other carriers.

During December, Air China Ltd. posted underwhelming numbers as many Chinese carriers battled capacity issues.

However, Cathay Chief Executive Ronald Lam on Friday acknowledged a trend of continuing improvement in operations. And financial performance for the airline and its subsidiaries in the second half of 2022. Following the lifting of pandemic-related travel restrictions.

Short-haul leisure travel has seen a recent surge in demand. The company expects this trend to continue in January and over the Chinese New Year season, according to Lam.

While the passenger market improved as passenger and crew quarantine rules were eased. The air cargo market was weaker in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared with a year earlier.

Cathay, which aims to operate at 70% of pre-pandemic passenger capacity by the end of 2023, said capacity decreased by 67.8% last month when compared with December 2019 levels.

The airline said in October it planned to hire 4,000 staff over the next 18 to 24 months to rebuild staffing levels cut during the pandemic. ($1 = 7.8318 Hong Kong dollars).