In a press conference attended by Aviation for Aviators, Top executives at Cathay pacific reported on the company’s growth and recovery during the year before answering questions from the media. In the opening statement provided by the company’s chair, Patrick Healy, he talked about the recovery levels expected from the airline in the year, and the profits from the previous year.
The Company’s results
When talking about the year of 2022, Patrick Healy said “Our airlines and subsidiaries reported an attributable profit of 2.3 Billion dollars in the second half of 2022.” This indicates recovery at the airline, as this is reportedly the first time the company has made a profit since 2019. This matches many other airlines in the time period, as the industry begins to take back the areas which it has lost due to the pandemic. When talking about profits at Cathay Pacific, this not only includes the main area of the airline, but also their Cargo and Low cost airlines and firms as well. The Pandemic was particularly damaging to many of the airlines in East Asia, as China’s COVID regulations were harsh, and in some areas, are still being lifted. This is important because in most cases, China has the largest group of tourists travelling with east Asian airlines, and so for them to have harsh regulations would drastically decrease passenger numbers.
In terms of recovery this year, Healy Stated “By the end of March, as a group, we will be operating approximately 50% pre-pandemic flight capacity”, a figure which some might view to be low compared to others. However, when talking about recovery in terms of destinations, Healy said that they would be “Serving more than 70 destinations.” The Chair then continued to say that these numbers should be increasing by the end of the year. However these are still not close enough to the levels they were before the pandemic, as would be expected with most airlines.
How is Cathay Pacific ensuring that their fleet is as environmentally friendly as possible?
In answer to a question about the environment asked by Aviation for Aviators, Cathay Pacific’s CEO, Ronald Lam, Said: “Being a leader in sustainability is a very important part of our strategy moving forwards, and in fact we have announced our commitment for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050; as well as usage of 10% Sustainable Aviation Fuel by 2030. We have been making plans and implementing actions to make this happen. So, for example, last year, we launched the first ever corporate sustainable aviation fuel program in Asia which is joined by a number of partners from different sectors. We are very encouraged by their participation. We have also signed up with a number of different parties sourcing for SAF for the future. We have an investment in a company called Fulcrum in the US in which they have offered to supply us with a good quality of sustainable aviation fuel for the future. And also we have signed up another company called Amadeus with uptake of SAF in the future. So we are working to us building more SAF supply to reach our 2030 target in the coming years. So that’s one main area, working on the SAF. Another Area, We will continue to upgrade our aircraft to new generation aircraft. From this year onward, we still have 48 firm aircraft orders that will be delivered. And each of those aircraft will provide up to 15-20% fuel efficiency and therefore lower carbon emissions compared to their counterparts in the older generation. So those are the two main focuses that we have on sustainability. “
In Simple terms, Cathay Pacific is making a commitment to the environment, in particular with the use of Sustainable Aviation fuel, that is, fuel which emits no negative impact on the environment. They also are trying to keep their fleet modern and efficient, to ensure that the least amount of damage is made.
In Conclusion, Cathay Pacific are making significant advancements in the way that they are recovering from the Pandemic and the damage which it has caused to the aviation industry. In terms of recovery, whilst progress may be slow, this is something expected of the airline as many others are going through similar things at the same time. With regards to environmental impact, Cathay Pacific is making commitments to make its aviation cleaner, with a new fleet and sustainable aviation fuel developments on the way.
Please Note: All information was taken from Cathay Pacific’s March 8th 2023 Press conference.
Cover Image credit: NPR