Cathay Pacific narrows first-half loss as passenger numbers rise


Adds particulars on income, passengers, curbs; paragraphs 3-11

Aug 10 (Reuters)Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd 0293.HK posted on Wednesday a first-half loss of HK$5 billion ($637 million), narrowing from the prior yr’s HK$7.57 billion, as easing quarantine guidelines boosted passenger numbers.

The airline had mentioned in June that it anticipated a decrease first-half loss than the earlier yr, however warned the determine would nonetheless be “substantial”.

First-half income rose 17% to HK$18.6 billion, pushed by a rise in ticket gross sales and protracted robust demand for air cargo, though passenger numbers stayed 95.2% beneath pre-pandemic ranges in June.

Hong Kong is among the few locations on this planet, together with mainland China and Taiwan, to nonetheless require COVID-19 quarantine for arrivals, although such resort stays are to be minimize to a few days from seven, officers within the monetary hub mentioned this week.

Cathay reiterated that it anticipated passenger capability to method as much as 25% of pre-pandemic ranges by year-end, up from 11% in June, and was now focusing on a optimistic money move place.

Its potential so as to add flights is crimped by guidelines for air crew on passenger jets to spend three days in quarantine in resorts upon returning residence.

“We will only be able to operate more flight capacity when the existing stringent travel restrictions and quarantine requirements applicable to Hong Kong-based aircrew are lifted,” Chairman Patrick Healy mentioned in an announcement.

As restrictions ease, the airline is getting ready to deliver again extra planes from storage to revive Hong Kong’s standing as an air transport hub.

Cathay mentioned it anticipated monetary outcomes to enhance within the second half from the primary. The airline is predicted to report a full-year loss of HK$4.5 billion, in response to the typical of 11 analyst estimates compiled by Refinitiv.

($1=7.8495 Hong Kong {dollars})

(Reporting by Jamie Freed in Sydney; Editing by Tom Hogue and Clarence Fernandez)


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