Cathay Pacific recorded a net loss of HK$21.65 billion (US$2.8 billion) in the 12 months ending December 2020. This compares to a net profit of HK$1.69 billion (US$217.78 million) in 2019.

Patrick Healy, Chairman at Cathay Pacific, said 2020 was the “most challenging” year in the company’s seven-decade history.

The Hong Kong flag carrier saw overall revenue more than halve to HK$46.9 billion (US$6.04 billion) during the period, largely caused by border restrictions and evaporating demand for its international route network.

Cathay Pacific carried 4.6 million passengers, down 86.9 per cent compared to the previous year, with its average load factor falling by a quarter to 58 per cent. Towards the end of 2020, fewer than one in five seats were filled amid a resurgence in Covid-19 cases globally.

Meanwhile, Cathay Pacific slashed passenger capacity by 78.8 per cent. The airline also shut down regional subsidiary Cathay Dragon and placed nearly half of its 92 aircraft into long-term storage as of year end.

“Our short-term outlook continues to be challenging. However, we remain absolutely confident in the long-term future and competitive position of our airlines,” said Healy. 

“Our important role at the centre of the Hong Kong aviation hub, and the critical role that Hong Kong will play in the Greater Bay Area and beyond, will continue to place us in good stead as we recover and rebuild from the impact of Covid-19.”