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Despite a marked improvement in the first six months of the year, Cathay Pacific Group expects a “substantial loss” for the full year 2022, it said on November 18 in its October traffic release. Cathay Pacific expects substantial full-year loss.

While the airline and subsidiaries are recovering progressively well from some very difficult months of travel restrictions and Covid quarantine measures in Hong Kong, the group is feeling the pain from the negative results from associates. “The results from associates, the majority of which are recognized three months in arrears, and which in some cases have already been announced, will include significant losses. As a result, a substantial loss for the Group, including airlines, subsidiaries, and associates, is expected for the full year of 2022”, says Chief Customer and Commercial Officer, Ronald Lam. He has been nominated as Cathay’s next CEO from January.  

Cathay Pacific reported an HK$-4.999 billion HY1 loss in August, up from HK$-7.564 billion in the same period last year. In 2021, the loss was HK$-5.527 billion. HY1 was significantly impacted by Covid restrictions until May. After restrictions were eased, especially since late September, the airline has been doing much better. “Earlier this year, we said that we were targeting to be operating cash generative from August onwards. Since then, further adjustments to travel restrictions and quarantine requirements have come into effect in Hong Kong. As such, it is now our expectation that the second half of 2022 will be operating cash generative overall.”

Cathay Pacific and HK Express expect to recover their capacity to seventy percent of 2019 levels by the end of 2023, but not return to full capacity until 2024. It has been growing capacity in the current Q4 by adding 3.000 passenger flight sectors until the end of December, which brings the capacity to one-third of 2019 levels. In October, Cathay carried 400.909 passengers, up 424.5 percent from October last year but still 85.4 percent down on the same month in 2019.

At 109.425 tonnes, the airline carried 20.1 percent less cargo year on year but was five percent up from September. Cargo capacity was ten percent lower as the airline operated fewer cargo-only flights.

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Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
In 2022, he has gone full-time freelance. Richard has been contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He is also writing for Airliner World and Aviation News and until July 1 2023 in a part-time role with Dutch website and magazine Luchtvaartnieuws. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.

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