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Cathay Pacific Remains Optimistic Despite Headwinds

A Cathay Pacific A350-1000 at Washington Dulles (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Ben Suskind)

Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific has announced a net profit of $171.8 million for the first half of 2019.

According to the interim result, the passenger revenue increased by 5.6 percent, the capacity increased by 6.7 percent and the load factor remained unchanged at 84.2 percent. But the group’s cargo revenue decreased 11.4 percent compared to the same period in 2018. The figure reflected the weaker global trade brought about in part by U.S.-China trade tensions.

At the end of June, the airline had 67 new aircraft on order for delivery over the next five years; the new aircraft will improve the fuel and overall operating efficiency of the carrier. Also, four new Airbus A350-1000 aircraft joined the fleet this year. In addition, the group continues to fit the latest economy seats with hi-definition screens in Boeing 777 aircraft, Wi-Fi is being installed on Boeing 777 and Airbus A330 aircraft, and the Wi-Fi service is currently available on all A350 aircraft.

Cathay Pacific said the demand to Americas fell short of increases in capacity. The airline has launched new routes to Seattle this year, and it became a daily service in July. The traffic volumes to Europe grew in line with capacity increases and the routes to the Southwest Pacific did well, the passenger volume offset the decreasing yield. As a home market, the premium class was strong at the beginning of the year in Hong Kong, particularly on long-haul services but softened into the second quarter.

Normally, Cathay Pacific achieves a better result in the second half of the year. The group expects this is going to happen again, despite the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China and the widespread protest in Hong Kong show no signs of abating.

Earlier, Cathay Pacific completed the purchase of Hong Kong Express, the group intends to preserve the airline as a low-cost carrier and will broaden its network in the future.

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