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Cathay Pacific posts HK$21.6 bn loss for 2020

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The airlines claim 2020 to the most challenging 12 months of the airline’s 70-year history

Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways posted a net loss of HK$ 21.65 billion for 2020, a period they claimed to be the most challenging 12 months of the airline’s 70-year history. The Covid-19 pandemic brought unprecedented disruption to global air travel. Following which Cathay Pacific restructured the financial measure taken by the airline including laying off staff and cutting salaries.

Cathay Pacific only flies internationally and on the onset of the coronavirus outbreak subsequent country borders were closed and travel restrictions were imposed. In the first 6 months, Cathay Pacific witnessed a loss of $1.3 billion after which they flagged a substantial full-year loss. The airline cited the unexpectedly high costs for restructuring and an asset write-down as contributing to this. Despite a multi-billion dollar bailout from the Hong Kong government in mid-2020, Cathay has faced the drop.

By the end of December 2020, the available unrestricted liquidity at Cathay Pacific was $3.68 billion. Around $870 million was raised via a bond issue. In a recapitalisation in July, Cathay had raised HK$ 39 billion with available unrestricted liquidity at HK$ 28.6 billion by the end of 2020. CEO Augustus Tang assured that the company’s cash and liquidity condition was healthy.

Patrick Healy, Chairman of Cathay Pacific told the media, “The travel restriction and quarantine requirements in the place around the world brought about an unprecedented disruption to the global air travel market, and the repercussions have been huge. With demand at an all-time low, we drastically reduced our passenger schedule to just a bare skeleton, and our operating capacity remained below 10 percent for much of 2020.”

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