cathay pacific
HONG KONG -10 AUGUST 2016- A Boeing 747-400 from Cathay Pacific (CX) at the Hong Kong International Airport (HKG

Hong Kong’s flagship airline Cathay Pacific (HKG:0293) saw shares sink on Wednesday, after reporting their first loss since the financial crisis.

The group saw a net loss of HK$575 million for the full year 2016, down from a profit of HK$6 billionthe previous year.

The company has only posted three losses since it was founded in 1946, the last one in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis.

Sales fell by 9.4 percent over the year, with the airline’s passenger yield – a key indicator of performance in the industry – falling by 9.2 percent.

Cathay Pacific have been facing competition from mainline Chinese and Middle Eastern airlines, who offer more direct services, as well as the rise of budget travel.

Shares fell 7 percent in early trading before recovering to trade down just 1.38 percent (1244GMT).

Shares in the airline have fallen 27 percent since Chief Executive Officer Ivan Chu took over in 2014, and five months ago the company announced a “critical review” in order to combat falling sales.

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Miranda is the online editor of UK Investor Magazine. Her interests include private equity, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending, gender equality and coffee.