Lifting of quarantine in Hong Kong stems Cathay’s £705m losses
Cathay Pacific Airways said it was ready to rebuild as Hong Kong opened up to global visitors, despite reporting wider losses in 2022.
The airline reported an annual loss of 6.55 billion Hong Kong dollars (£705 million) for last year – an 18.5% increase in losses from 2021.
However, Cathay saw revenue grow 12% as quarantine requirements in Hong Kong were relaxed in the second half of 2022.
“2022 was another challenging year for the Cathay Pacific Group due to the travel restrictions brought by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Cathay CEO Ronald Lam said in a statement.
“However, we were very encouraged to see a bright light at the end of the tunnel in the second half of 2022, and the positive momentum has continued into 2023.”
The airline said it would be operating at abut 70% of pre-pandemic passenger flight capacity by the end of 2023, and aims to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2024.
Cathay has been slower to recover than regional rivals such as Singapore Airlines after Hong Kong aligned with mainland China’s restrictions and stance on COVID-19.
The city was among the last places in the world to ease masking requirements in March, and for most of 2022 had required incoming travellers to serve a mandatory quarantine.
The airline is also struggling with a shortage of crew members as well as dissatisfaction by many flight attendants over pay cuts and reduced rest time.
“We recognise there have been difficulties regarding crew rosters, resourcing, schedules and customer support hotlines,” said Cathay chairman Patrick Healy.
“We will continue to do our utmost to minimise such issues as we continue to rebuild.”
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