Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways said on Wednesday (Mar 10) it was focused on preserving cash after it posted a record annual loss of HK$21.65 billion (USD 2.79 billion), caused by travel downturn, restructuring costs and fleet writedowns.
The 2020 loss compared with 2019 profit of HK$1.69 billion and was worse than an average forecast for a net loss of HK$19.9 billion by 13 analysts, according to Refinitiv.
"Market conditions remain challenging and dynamic," Cathay Chairman Patrick Healy said in a statement. "All our cash preservation measures will continue unabated. Executive pay cuts will remain in place throughout 2021."
Cathay lacks a domestic market at a time when international borders are largely closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. In December, Cathay's passenger numbers fell by 98.7% compared with a year earlier, though cargo carriage was down by a smaller 32.3%.
Nearly 60% of its 2020 revenue of HK$47.9 billion was from its cargo operations, up from around 20% in 2019.
The airline said in January it would cut passenger capacity by 60% and cargo capacity by 25% as a result of new rules that required crew to quarantine for two weeks in hotels before returning to normal life in Hong Kong that took effect on Feb 20.
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