Cathay Pacific hits downward spiral

Airline posts first loss since 2008, blames low-cost rivals
Cathay Pacific Airways unexpectedly posted its first loss since 2008, admitting that passenger yield on major routes would stay under pressure in 2017. It blames a slump in business travel, rising competition with China’s low-cost carriers and Hong Kong’s dwindling visitor numbers.
This year “is going to be a difficult year and current trends won’t stop,” chief operating officer Rupert Hogg said in an interview.
The Hong Kong-based carrier posted a loss of HK$575 million (69 million) for 2016, a shocking contrast to the HK$369 million profit expected in a Bloomberg survey of 18 analysts. Revenue fell 9% to HK$92.75 billion and passenger yield was down 9.2%. Six months ago, Cathay reported a first-half profit drop of over 80%.
“Mainland Chinese airlines increased their global reach,” said chairman John Slosar. “We have to find ways to attract customers to fly with Cathay Pacific. We can operate in lower cost, be more agile and provide better service to our customers.”
South China Morning Post


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