KARACHI – The Cathay Pacific Group reported a loss of HK$935 million for the first six months of 2012. This compares to the profit of HK$2,808 million in the first half of 2011. Loss per share was HK23.8 cents as compared to the earnings per share of HK71.4 cents in 2011. Turnover for the period rose by 4.4% to HK$48,861 million, says a press release.

In the first half of 2012, Cathay Pacific’s core business was significantly affected by the persistently high price of jet fuel, passenger yields coming under pressure and weak air cargo demand - factors common to the aviation industry as a whole. Profits from associated companies, including Air China, also showed a marked decline.

In response to these challenges, the Cathay Pacific Group introduced measures designed to protect its business, including schedule changes and capacity reductions, the withdrawal from service of older, less fuel-efficient aircraft, a recruitment freeze and the introduction of voluntary unpaid leave for cabin crew. At the same time the Group kept its network intact and did not allow cost reductions to compromise the brand or service quality.

 It also continued with major investments – new aircraft, new products and its own HK$5.9 billion cargo terminal at Hong Kong International Airport – that will benefit the business in the long term.