Cathay Pacific’s executive directors receive 21.6% pay increase, earnings exceed pre-pandemic levels

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Ronald Lam

15th May 2024 – (Hong Kong) Cathay Pacific Airways has seen a significant increase in executive compensation, with top management salaries surpassing pre-pandemic levels, despite ongoing operational challenges. According to the airline’s recent annual report, the total remuneration for its 20 executive directors in the last year was approximately HK$60.62 million (US$7.8 million), marking a 21.6% increase from HK$49.84 million in 2022 and nearly 20% higher than in 2019.

Ronald Lam Siu-por, the CEO of Cathay Pacific, emerged as the highest-paid executive with a total package of HK$10.45 million, which includes a bonus for the preceding year. This represents a 32% increase from his 2022 compensation. Following closely is Rebecca Sharpe, the Chief Financial Officer, whose earnings rose by 35.8% to HK$9.71 million.

The report also highlights pay increases for other key figures, including Cathay’s Chairman Patrick Healy, who received HK$8.66 million, up 38.56% from the previous year. New executive director Alex McGowan earned HK$4.63 million.

These salary increments come at a time when Cathay reported its first profit since 2019, totalling HK$9.78 billion (US$1.3 billion) for 2023, marking a significant turnaround from a net loss of HK$6.62 billion in 2022. This performance is the airline’s best since 2010. However, the recovery is tempered by setbacks, including a delay in restoring full passenger flight capacity and criticism over management of flight cancellations.