Cathay Pacific reports a $834 million loss for 2022
The Cathay Pacific Group reported an attributable loss of more than HK$6.55 billion in 2022 (US$834.4 million). The loss per ordinary share in 2022 was HK111.3 cents.
In a March 8 press release, Cathay CEO Ronald Lam said, "2022 was another challenging year for the Cathay Pacific Group due to the travel restrictions brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we were very encouraged to see a bright light at the end of the tunnel in the second half of 2022, and the positive momentum has continued into 2023. After three brutal years of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have finally entered into a new exciting phase, in which we will rebuild Cathay Pacific for Hong Kong."
The Group's available unrestricted liquidity stood at HK$27.2 billion as of 31 December 2022.
The Group – comprising passenger airlines Cathay Pacific and HK Express — is projected to be operating about 70 percent of its pre-pandemic passenger flight capacity by the end of 2023, with an aim to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2024.
In 2022, Cathay Pacific’s passenger revenue increased by 214.9 percent to HK$13,686 million compared with 2021. Passenger flight capacity, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs) increased by 51.6 percent, while traffic, measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) increased by 258.3 percent. The Group carried a total of 2.8 million passengers in 2022, an average of 7,682 per day, which was 291.1 percent more than in 2021.
Load factor was 73.6 percent compared with 31.1 percent in 2021. Meanwhile, cargo revenue in 2022 decreased by 16.6 percent to HK$26,990 million compared with 2021. Capacity, measured in available cargo tonne kilometres (AFTKs), decreased by 19.0 percent mainly due to the reduction in cargo capacity operated, particularly in the first part of the year, due to elevated COVID-19 crew quarantine restrictions. Traffic, measured in cargo revenue tonne kilometres (RFTKs) decreased by 29.8 percent. Total tonnage decreased by 13.4 percent to 1,154 thousand tonnes. Load factor was 70.6 percent compared with 81.4 percent in 2021, and yield increased by 18.5 percent to HK$4.67.
Non-fuel costs for 2022 decreased by 5.9 percent to HK$34,599 million compared with 2021. Total fuel costs for Cathay Pacific (before the effect of fuel hedging) increased by HK$4,207 million (or 48.2 percent) compared with 2021.
COVID-19 brought a difficult start to 2022 which initially had an adverse impact on the Group's monthly operating cash burn. However, following the Hong Kong SAR Government’s initial adjustments to travel restrictions and quarantine requirements from May 1 it returned to being operating cash generative towards the end of the first half of 2022.