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            september 20, 2019

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Cathay Pacific fears US-China trade war will hit profitable cargo business


Chief commercial officer of Hong Kong's flagship carrier Cathay Pacific Airways has for the first time voiced concerns about the impact an increasingly likely trade war between the US and China would have on its profitable cargo business.
Paul Loo Kar-pui said the loss-making airline was taking the threat seriously and monitoring the long-term effects of the trade situation "very closely," reported SCMP.
"We don't see any immediate impact. God knows, the whole thing is developing every day, we really don't want to see trade disrupted. A trade war is not to anyone's benefit," Mr Loo said in Toulouse, France, ahead of the airline receiving its first Airbus A350-1000 and flying the aircraft back to Hong Kong.
Cathay Pacific has recorded two years of annual losses amid rising competition. It has relied on its profitable cargo unit to help offset the losses from its passenger business. However, it recorded an overall profit in the second half of last year, suggesting that the worst of the company's troubles are over.
The shift in Cathay Pacific's view of the looming trade war can be seen in the changing nature of the comments made by Mr Loo over the past three months.
At the March announcement of the company's financial earnings for 2017, Mr Loo said the airline did not see the rhetoric from Mr Trump's anti-trade agenda having a potential impact on its cargo business.
Two weeks ago, Mr Loo was asked about the same issue in Dublin ahead of the airline commencing a new flight to the Irish capital, and the carrier said it was not worried.

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