Cathay Pacific flags ‘significant’ drop in H1 profit | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 18, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 18, 2020

Cathay Pacific flags ‘significant’ drop in H1 profit

Cathay Pacific Airways is expecting a significant drop in its first-half results and has also cut capacity due to the coronavirus outbreak, it said on Monday.

Severe travel restrictions as a result of a coronavirus outbreak in China, which has caused about 1,770 deaths across mainland China, have led to a steep rise in flight cancellations.

"The first half of 2020 was already expected to be extremely challenging financially," the company said in a statement.

"As a result of this additional significant drop in demand for flights and consequential capacity reduction caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak, the financial results for the first half of 2020 will be significantly down on the same period last year."

Flight cancellations have led the number of customers seeking refunds to skyrocket. The airline has told those affected that reimbursement could take up to six weeks. The carrier also said in a statement it had cut capacity by 40 per cent for February and March, against an earlier planned 30 per cent cut.

It also pointed to a likely reduction in April.

Cathay Pacific also posted a 1.3 percentage point decrease in the passenger load factor of Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon to 84.7 per cent in January.

Meanwhile, Swire Pacific Ltd, Cathay's largest shareholder, said it expects a hit to its first-half results owing to the capacity reductions by Cathay. 

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