Cathay Pacific has reported a loss of HK$9.9 billion (£1 billion) for the first half of the financial year as the Covid-19 crisis continues to decimate demand for global air travel.
“The first six months of 2020 were the most challenging that the Cathay Pacific Group has faced in its more than 70-year history,” said chairman Patrick Healy in a statement.
The airline says in total it carried 4.4 million passengers in the first six months of the year, a fall of 76 per cent on the figure seen the in same period 2019.
The load factor also “dropped significantly,” to 67 per cent from 84 per cent in the first half of 2019.
In April and May, the airline was carrying an average of only around 500 passengers a day – rising to 900 in June.
Healy added that the group does not expect to see “meaningful recovery” for some time to come, citing analysis from the International Air Transport Association forecasting that demand is unlikely to return to pre-Covid-19 levels before 2024.
In June, the airline announced a HK$39 billion (£3.9 billion) recapitalisation plan led by the Hong Kong government.
“On behalf of Cathay Pacific Group, I wish to extend our appreciation for the support provided by our shareholders and the Hong Kong government in participating in the recapitalisation issue which demonstrates the confidence they have in the group, and in our ability to continue to play a critical leadership role in the development of the Hong Kong aviation hub,” added Healy.