Cathay Pacific bets on strong freight demand to improve second half results
Nov. 17 (Reuters) – Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd of Hong Kong (0293.HK) said on Wednesday it expects second half results to improve significantly from first half, helped by unusually high demand for air freight strong.
The outlook comes as the airline continues to suffer from travel restrictions linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, operating at just 10% of passenger capacity before the pandemic in October and posting a 97.2% drop in number passengers compared to 2019.
“October has been more difficult for our passenger business than the past few months. Demand for student travel, which had been robust in recent months, declined rapidly from early October,” said Ronald Lam, director of clientele and business affairs, in a statement.
However, a strong freight season in the second half of the year provided a bright spot, Cathay said, as the airline broke even on its operating cash flow for the four-month period July through October. .
The reopening of Australia’s borders to vaccinated citizens has also helped the recovery, Cathay said.
“We have already added more capacity and seen an increase in flight bookings,” the company said, referring to Australia.
The airline, which posted a net loss of HK $ 7.57 billion ($ 972.01 million) in the first half, still expects the annual loss for 2021 to be substantial.
($ 1 = 7.7880 Hong Kong dollars)
Report by Arundhati Dutta in Bangalore; edited by Uttaresh.V
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