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In response to analysts, it can "inevitably" take longer for Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airways to get better

Aircraft sold by Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. stand on the tarmac of Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong, China on Friday August 7, 2020.

Paul Yeung | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Hong Kong-based Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific Airways will "inevitably" take longer to recover from the coronavirus crisis, an aviation advisor told CNBC.

That's because these airlines are based in markets where there is no domestic demand for flights, at a time when international travel is still very limited, said Joanna Lu, head of Asian advisory at Cirium.

Airlines have suffered massive losses since air travel virtually ceased when most countries closed their borders earlier this year in an attempt to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Both airlines saw a loss of profit in their latest earnings report.

Cathay Pacific posted a loss of 9.87 billion Hong Kong dollars ($ 1.27 billion) in the first half of 2020, after posting a profit of 1.35 billion Hong Kong dollars a year ago. For the quarter ended June 30, Singapore Airlines recorded a net loss of 1.12 billion Singapore dollars ($ 817.5 million), compared with a net income of 111 million Singapore dollars a year earlier.

Some countries have since reopened to tourists, with Covid-19 tests and airport health screenings, but many are still closed to international visitors as confirmed cases top 20.5 million worldwide.

Lu told CNBC's Capital Connection Wednesday that travel within a national or regional market is likely to resume more quickly compared to long-haul flights to international destinations.

"Those airlines that serve a large chunk of the domestic market would likely benefit more, including airlines in China, Japan and perhaps Indonesia," she said.

However, the opposite is true for Hong Kong and Singapore, where locals do not travel domestically by air due to the limited land area.

Lu also spoke about reasons why the International Air Transport Association said in June that the Asia-Pacific region is expected to see "the largest absolute losses" in 2020.

She said the disruption to international travel was the "leading cause" of "negative advances" in the Asia-Pacific industry. She also said the region has many countries and markets, while Europe and the US "operate pretty much as a single, unified domestic market."

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