Hong Kong flag-carrier Cathay Pacific counts higher second-half loss than its record loss in first-half of 2020, as it still struggles to recover from COVID-19 pandemic. 

On December 16, 2020, Cathay Pacific warned it would lose more money in the second-half of 2020 than its first-half loss of HK$98.7 billion ($1.27 billion).

The airline reported a 98.6% decrease in passenger numbers. “We are still not seeing any meaningful improvement in our passenger business,” Cathay Pacific Group Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Ronald Lam said in the statement. 

In the statement, Cathay Pacific reported a smaller 26.2% fall in cargo carriage. “Cargo demand further strengthened in November, largely driven by strong ecommerce traffic as well as solid movement of electronic products, perishables and automotive shipments across our network,” said Lam. 

In October 2020, Cathay Pacific said that it would cut about 6,000 jobs to weather COVID-19 pandemic. Adding to the large layoffs, the airline executed a restructuring plan, which resulted in changes in staff contracts and permanent wage cuts.

Cathay Pacific expat pilots are finding difficulty in obtaining and renewing work visas, after the airline suffered an economic downturn.

“Demand continues to weaken on long-haul routes and we anticipate we will rely more on traffic on regional services in the immediate future. Given the slow speed of recovery, we expect to operate about 9% of pre-COVID-19 capacity in December and slightly above 10% in January 2021,” Lam added.

Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific announced plans to discontinue Cathay Dragon regional airline and lay off 17% of the company’s workforce, as well as go on with HK$2.2 billion ($283.9 million) restructuring plan that will cause changes in workers’ contracts, significant executive pay cuts and delays to Boeing 777-9 deliveries.