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Week 32


Three day protest planned at Hong Kong airport

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August 9th 2019

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Cathay Pacific seeing a double-digit drop in bookings, mostly in economy class. Read More »

Aviation in Hong Kong is under the spotlight as the city enters its third month of protests. Events were sparked by an extradition bill, but reflect deep-seated quality of life issues including lack of affordable housing and business competition.

Cathay Pacific recently completed its acquisition of competitor HK Express. On Wednesday it announced an interim profit of HK$1.35 billion (US$172.23 million), a result that exceeded forecasts. For the six months a year ago the airline reported losses of HK$263 million.

At press time, protestors had said they will have a three day protest planned at Hong Kong International Airport from August 9-11.

On August 5, air traffic controllers joined employees in other sectors in a city-wide strike. Hong Kong airport consequently reduced operations from two runways to one and over 200 flights were cancelled while others saw lengthy delays. Surface transport to and from the airport was also interrupted. Protestors held an authorised protest at the airport on July 26 largely without incident.

Already, Cathay Pacific is feeling the impact of the protest, seeing a double digit decline in bookings, mostly in economy class. The current northern summer period experiences light business travel. Cathay’s situation could be exacerbated if protests continue into the autumn, a period for high-yield business travel. Deterioration would strain Cathay. The carrier is in its third and final year of transformation yet its airlines posted a 1% profit margin for the first half.


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