Cathay posts $580m loss for January to April on coronavirus impact

Cathay Pacific and its subsidiary Cathay Dragon made a HK$4.5 billion ($580 million) loss for the first four months of the year, according to unaudited financial results, amid depressed travel demand during the coronavirus outbreak.

Cathay Pacific and its subsidiary Cathay Dragon made a HK$4.5 billion ($580 million) loss for the first four months of the year, according to unaudited financial results, amid depressed travel demand during the coronavirus outbreak.

Releasing its traffic figures for April, Cathay adds that the financial outlook in the next few months “continues to be very bleak”, and that it does not “anticipate… a meaningful recovery for an extended period”.

For April, Cathay and Cathay Dragon carried just 13,729 passengers, down by 99.6% year on year. Cathay group chief customer and commercial officer Ronald Lam notes that both carriers carried fewer than 500 passengers per day during the period.

The carrier does not expect any improvement this month, where it will transport around the same number of passengers each day. Travel demand will continue to be “severely impacted for the foreseeable future”, it adds.

Revenue passenger kilometres fell 99.3% year on year, while available seat kilometres plunged 97.3%, leading to a 62.3 percentage point drop in passenger load factor to 21.7%.

In April, Cathay and Cathay Dragon operated a “bare skeleton” passenger flight schedule to 14 points in its network.

Hong Kong’s ban on transit traffic also impacted Cathay’s April traffic, with Lam noting that “very limited traffic came from inbound travellers, notably from North America and the UK”.