Cathay Pacific has reported its first annual loss in eight years and only the third since it was founded in 1946.
The Hong-Kong flag carrier blamed “intense and increasing” competition from mainland Chinese carriers and the low-cost market.
The airline also noted the reduction in the number of visitors to Hong Kong with the reduced rate of economic growth in China and the strength of the Hong Kong dollar.
The net loss of HK$575m ($74m; £60.1m) for 2016, was down from a HK$6bn profit the previous year. Sales fell by 9.4 per cent year-on-year.
Cathay Pacific chairman John Slosar said he expects the operating environment to “remain challenging” in 2017.
“Strong competition from other airlines and the adverse effect of the strength of the Hong Kong dollar are expected to continue to put pressure on yield,” said Slosar. “The cargo market got off to a good start, but overcapacity is expected to persist.
“We expect to continue to benefit in 2017 from the fact that fuel prices are much lower than their previous high levels, but to a lesser extent (because of some increase in oil prices in recent months) than in 2016. We also expect to incur further fuel hedging losses in 2017, but these should be less than in 2016. Our subsidiaries and associates are expected to continue to perform satisfactorily.”
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