Airline announces record profit

Airport Scene

Airline Cathay Pacific has announced record profits for 2007 despite high fuel prices and economic uncertainty.

Profits leapt by an incredible 71.8%, partly due to the contribution of subsidiary airline Dragonair in its first full year with Cathay Pacific. Altogether turnover increased by 24%.

“The key driver behind the 71.8% rise in profit was strong passenger demand, helped by a weak dollar, fuel hedging gains and profit contribution from our associates, especially Air China for its first full reporting year,” Cathay Pacific chairman, Christopher Pratt, said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

Passenger demand was reported to be high throughout the year as Cathay Pacific carried 17.8 million passengers, an increase of 6.2% on 2006. The airline says that there was particularly strong demand from first class and business class passengers.

But despite the strong performance, Cathay Pacific says it was still hampered by rising fuel prices. “High fuel prices continued to have a significant impact on the airline, particularly in the second half of the year, and the fuel bill rose by 21.8% to HK$24,624 million. This was only partially offset by fuel surcharges,” said Cathay Pacific in a press statement.

During the year Cathay Pacific and Dragonair added 12 new aircraft to their fleet. This included five Boeing 777-300ERs, which will become the mainstay of CP’s long haul flights. In the UK Cathay Pacific offers flights from Heathrow airport to Hong Kong.

To make flights more comfortable for passengers, CP also began rolling out its new cabins for long haul flights. These include first class suites with full-flat beds and extra privacy in business class, and economy class seats that recline within their own shell. The new cabins also feature a new inflight entertainment system with audio and video on demand.

Written by: Nick Purdom


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Airline Announces Record Profit