Hong Kong Airlines Warns Of Persisting Loss As The Pandemic Continues

Highlights: 

  • Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. said in a statement that it doesn’t expect to see any recovery in revenue after it posted a net loss of HK$9.9 billion ($1.3 billion) in Q1
  • The low-cost unit posted a “significant loss” in the first half, Cathay said.
  • The Coronavirus pandemic had struck Taiwan and Hong Kong just as Cathay was starting the process of rebuilding itself following the protests in Hong Kong in 2019.

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. said in a statement that it doesn’t expect to see any significant recovery in revenue after it posted a net loss of HK$9.9 billion ($1.3 billion) in Q1 as the coronavirus pandemic ground global travel to a halt.

Hong Kong airline and its Cathay Dragon unit flew 4.4 million passengers between the first six months of 2020, as compared to the 18.3 million people that flew with them in the last year at the same time. Passenger revenue has plummeted by 72% to HK$10.4 billion in Q1.

They also said that they flew an average of just 500 passengers each day in April and May of this year. Hong Kong Express, which was bought out by Cathay in July 2019, has suspended its services back in March and have only just begun proceeding with some flights in August.

The company has already cautioned of a loss of HK$2.5  billion, including in its estimate around impairment charges of 16 aircrafts likely to never return to influential economic action again.

“The global health crisis has decimated the travel industry and the future remains highly uncertain, with most analysts suggesting that it will take years to recover to pre-crisis levels,” Cathay Chairman Patrick Healy said to the press on Wednesday.


The Coronavirus pandemic had struck Taiwan and Hong Kong just as Cathay was starting the process of rebuilding itself following the protests that erupted in Hong Kong in 2019.

The Hong Kong protests had led to changes in senior management and a sharp drop in airline traffic and traveling. Their net revenue had dropped to HK$344 million in the Q2 last year which is generally considered a stronger period, from about HK$1.4 billion.

Unlike most airlines, Cathay regrettably cannot depend on domestic demand.

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