Cathay Pacific forecasts reduced monthly cash burn in second half

According to Cathay Pacific's chief financial officer, the company expects to lower its cash burn to less that HK$1billion (AU$169m) per month in the second half.Due to crew quarantine restrictions, the airline was burning HK$1.9 billion (AU$322 millions) per month. However, that number will drop in the second half when rules are relaxed for vaccinated staff and increased capacity.On Saturday night, a webcast of the briefing for invitation-only was available.Cathay is operating at a mere 8% capacity, which is a significant drop in passenger numbers due to international border restrictions.Sharpe stated that there has not been any significant change in the impact COVID-19 has had upon passengers travelling to Hong Kong in the past few months.It hopes to double its capacity to 20% by August as Chinese students return to the United States for study. This could increase to 30% in the fourth quarter, as travel restrictions to Singapore or mainland China are eased, Cathay Chief Customer Officer Ronald Lam stated.Cathay said this month that losses for the first half of 2009 will be slightly lower than last year due to cost-saving measures as well as strong cargo demand.Cathay's monthly cash burn is slightly higher than that reported by Singapore Airlines (AU$98 Million to S$150 Million) last month.Both airlines have no domestic markets and are dependent on cargo traffic to make up the bulk of their revenue.Cathay stated that 89 of its 239 planes were in long-term storage in Australia or Spain. Sharpe stated that Cathay has HK$32.8 billion (AU$5.5 trillion) of liquidity and will look into raising additional funds if it is possible to do so at a reasonable price.