Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific posts HK$1.26 billion loss for 2017

The company had been hit by intense competition from rival airlines and higher fuel prices, chairman John Slosar said. (AFP)
Updated 14 March 2018

Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific posts HK$1.26 billion loss for 2017

HONG KONG: Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific on Wednesday announced a HK$1.26 billion ($161 million) net loss for 2017, marking the first back-to-back annual loss in its 71-year history.
The company had been hit by intense competition from rival airlines and higher fuel prices, chairman John Slosar said.
It was the biggest annual loss the company has seen in nine years and comes as lower-cost Chinese carriers eat into its market share.
Companies such as China Eastern and China Southern Airlines are offering direct services to Europe and the United States from the mainland, while budget carriers have targeted regional travelers, undermining Cathay’s position.
However, Slosar sounded a note of optimism for 2018 as Cathay saw improved premium class demand and a strong cargo business.
The firm fared better in the second half of 2017, when it made gains of HK$792 million compared to a loss of HK$2.05 billion in the first six months of the year.
Fuel hedging costs fell to HK$6.38 billion in 2017 from HK$8.45 billion the previous year
Cathay’s loss of HK$575 million in 2016 was its first time in the red for eight years and prompted a management shake-up and promises to slash staff costs by 30 percent.
It pledged to cut 600 staff including a quarter of its management as part of its biggest overhaul in two decades.
Chief executive Rupert Hogg took over in May 2017, replacing Ivan Chu, who had been in the job for three years.


Canada’s Trudeau to unveil plan to address coronavirus outbreak, revive economy

Updated 41 min 12 sec ago

Canada’s Trudeau to unveil plan to address coronavirus outbreak, revive economy

  • Trudeau will stress the need for environmental policies such as retrofitting buildings, boosting the use of electric vehicles and biofuels
  • Trudeau is paring down talk of a green revolution to slash reliance on export of fossil fuels

OTTAWA: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will unveil on Wednesday what he says is a far-reaching plan to help the economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic while ensuring efforts to fight the outbreak do not falter.
Trudeau, who has consistently vowed to do more to combat climate change, is paring down talk of a green revolution to slash reliance on export of fossil fuels as Canada faces a resurgence in coronavirus cases.
“The three prongs of what we are doing are fighting COVID-19, supporting Canadians, and a resilient recovery,” said a government source who requested anonymity given the sensitivity of the situation.
The so-called Speech from the Throne outlining government plans is a confidence measure and given that Trudeau’s Liberals only have a minority in the House of Commons, they will need the support of opposition legislators to avoid being toppled and plunging the country into an election.
The left-leaning New Democrats have made clear they are likely to vote in favor. Trudeau’s popularity initially soared over his handling of the pandemic, but polls suggest he and the Liberals were damaged by a scandal over his close ties to a charity chosen to run a student grant program.
Parliament is usually packed for the occasion but COVID-19 means few legislators will be present when Governor General Julie Payette — the representative of Queen Elizabeth, Canada’s head of state — delivers the speech at around 3 p.m. (1900 GMT).
Later on Wednesday, Trudeau plans to make a national address to address the urgency of fighting COVID-19, a spokesman said.
Officials say the throne speech will contain policy proposals such as childcare and an expanded employment insurance program rather than specific spending commitments, some of which will be disclosed in a fiscal update later in the year.
But Trudeau will stress the need for environmental policies such as retrofitting buildings, boosting the use of electric vehicles and biofuels, aides say.