96.9% drop in passenger load recorded by Cathay Pacific

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24th January 2022 – (Hong Kong) Cathay Pacific (00293) announced that it carried 92,219 passengers in December last year, a 96.9% drop from the pre-COVID-19 level in December 2019. Revenue passenger kilometres decreased by 95.1% year-on-year compared to December 2019. For the full year of 2021, passengers carried decreased by 84.5% compared with 2020, capacity decreased by 61.8%, and revenue passenger kilometres decreased by 79.5%. In terms of freight, 134,691 metric tons of cargo were carried last month, an increase of 12% year-on-year, but a decrease of 24.1% compared to December 2019. Cargo revenue tonne-kilometres increased by 11.7% year-on-year during the month, but decreased by 14.7% compared to December 2019. The load factor rose 4 percentage points to 84.3%.

For the full year of 2021, cargo capacity increased by 0.1% compared to 2020, but capacity decreased by 10.9%, while cargo revenue tonne-kilometres decreased by 1.1%. For the year ending 31st December, 2021, the Group expects to record a consolidated loss attributable to shareholders of approximately HK$5.6 billion to HK$6.1 billion. Cathay Pacific CEO continued to say that the Hong Kong SAR government further tightened travel restrictions at the end of December last year and early this month, as well as the quarantine requirements for crew members, which affected the company’s passenger and cargo capacity. The company will try its best to add more cargo services where circumstances permit to maintain Hong Kong’s status as an international aviation hub.

However, in January this year, the company was only able to operate about 20% of the freight capacity and about 2% of the passenger capacity before the epidemic. The Group is currently assessing the potential impact of the measures on the company’s operations and costs. According to preliminary assessment, if the above capacity level is used, it is expected that the monthly operating cash consumption will be 1 billion to 1.5 billion from February.

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