Cathay’s chief executive Tony Tyler said that concern had shifted from the sky-high price of oil earlier in the year to weak passenger numbers.
He said, ‘In the first half of the year the problem was very much a cost crisis caused by runaway fuel prices, but now – in the midst of a global financial meltdown -Â we are also being hit hard on the demand side.
‘The fact that revenue growth is stalling in our biggest market, Hong Kong, is a serious worry.
‘We are very exposed to the financial industry here and when banks, our biggest corporate customers, cut or even just curtail their travel plans we know we can expect to be in for a rough ride.’
‘I wish I had something more optimistic to say but the truth is that Cathay Pacific – and the airline industry as a whole -Â has entered another very troublesome period.’