Cathay Pacific Airways today announced a reduced profit attributable to shareholders of HK$3,298 million in its 2005 Annual Results compared with a profit of HK$4,417 million the previous year as high fuel prices continued to weigh heavy on the airline.
Group turnover increased 19.1% to a record HK$50,909 million. Fuel costs for the year increased 67.2% to HK$15,588 million. Passenger and cargo fuel surcharges only partially offset this additional cost. The airline’s unit cost excluding fuel decreased by 1.9% with continued efforts to increase productivity and reduce controllable overheads.
Passenger revenue increased 14.6% to a record HK$30,274 million. The airline carried 15.4 million passengers in 2005, up from 13.7 million the previous year. Passenger yield improved 1.1% to HK46.3 cents with strong demand from First and Business Class passengers. Capacity, measured in terms of available seat kilometres, or ASKs, increased 11.8% as the airline continued to expand its fleet and network.
Cathay Pacific carried a record 1,118,047 tonnes of freight and set a cargo revenue record of HK$11,585 million. New freighter services commenced to Shanghai, Dallas and Atlanta. However, both cargo yield and load factor decreased to HK$1.75 and 67.0% respectively with increased competition and a slowdown in the growth of exports from Southern China.
The airline launched a third daily service to Los Angeles, a fourth daily service to London, and increased frequencies to Amsterdam, Beijing, Ho Chi Minh City, Johannesburg, Nagoya, Perth, Seoul and Singapore. It also commenced a new three-times-weekly service to Xiamen.
Cathay Pacific’s continued confidence in Hong Kong’s future as an aviation centre was underlined by its biggest ever order for new aircraft. The airline made commitments for 16 Boeing 777-300ER long-range aircraft and three Airbus 330-300s, which will be delivered between 2007 and 2010, and has purchase rights for a further 20 B777-300ERs.
Nine aircraft entered service in 2005, including the world’s first B747-400BCF, or Boeing Converted Freighter, for which the airline has firm orders for five more and options for a further six. One new B747-400F freighter, one B777-300, three A330-300s and three refitted second-hand B747-400 passenger aircraft joined the fleet. Cathay Pacific’s fleet will total 101 aircraft by September 2006, when the airline celebrates its 60th Anniversary.
Cathay Pacific Chairman Christopher Pratt said: "Demand was strong in 2005 and we remain optimistic about our future even though our 2006 results are likely to remain heavily dependent on fuel prices. Efforts will stay focused on delivering superior service and value to our customers, profitably growing our operations and strengthening Hong Kong’s position as a global aviation hub. Our commitment to setting the industry standard for service led to several major awards, including 'Airline of the Year'. These awards are a tribute to the hard work and dedication of all our staff, whose continued support enabled us to achieve the results announced today."
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