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The Cathay Pacific Group today released its combined traffic figures for August 2020 that reflected the airlines’ continued substantial capacity reductions in response to significantly reduced demand as well as travel restrictions and quarantine requirements in place in Hong Kong and other markets amid the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic.
Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon carried a total of 35,773 passengers last month, a decrease of 98.8% compared to August 2019. The month’s revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) fell 98.1% year-on-year.
Passenger load factor dropped by 60 percentage points to 19.9%, while capacity, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs), decreased by 92.2%. In the first eight months of 2020, the number of passengers carried dropped by 81.7% against a 72.8% decrease in capacity and a 79.2% decrease in RPKs, as compared to the same period for 2019.
“We have already taken decisive actions to reduce our costs, but despite these efforts we are burning cash at a rate of HK$1.5 billion to HK$2 billion per month, and will continue to experience significant cash burn until the market recovers. The recapitalisation provides us time and a platform from which to transform our business and continue to operate in the short term; however, it is an investment that we need to repay.
“Given that we will be operating just a fraction of our services in the foreseeable future, we will continue to transfer some of our passenger fleet – approximately 40% – to locations outside of Hong Kong in keeping with prudent operational and asset management considerations.”