The Cathay Pacific Group has reported a sharp 11.4 per cent decline in cargo revenues of HK$11.49 billion in the first half of the year.
The airline group said it reflected the weaker global trade brought about in part by US-China trade tensions.
Volume and yield declined. Flown cargo capacity of Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon increased by 1.1 per ent, principally due to additional belly cargo space in newly acquired passenger aircraft.
Facing weak demand, Cathay Pacific said it rationalised freighter capacity and emphasised shipments of specialist cargo. Load factor decreased by 4.9 percentage points, to 63.4 per cent. Tonnage carried decreased by 5.7 per cent to 979,000 tonnes. Yield decreased by 2.6 per cent to HK$1.88.
In more positive news, Cathay Pacific reported that it returned to an overall profit of HK$1.34 billion for the first half of the year after posting a HK$263 million loss last year.
Revenue across operations was HK$53.5 billion, an increase of 0.9 per cent on the same six months in 2018.
Chairman, John Slosar said: “We are in the final year of our three-year transformation programme, which is designed to make our businesses leaner, more agile and able to compete more effectively.
“Work on the programme continues and, as evidenced by our return to profitability in 2018, we are moving in the right direction. Our positive performance continued in the first half of 2019, but the operating environment for our airlines worsened as geopolitical and trade tensions intensified.”
On cargo he said: “Our cargo business was weaker, due in part to US-China trade tensions, with a decline in both volume and yield. We benefited from lower fuel prices but were adversely impacted by a stronger US dollar.”