Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways has said that it was focussed on preserving cash after it posted a record annual loss of HK$21.65 billion (£2 billion), caused by a travel downturn, restructuring costs and fleet writedowns.

The 2020 loss compared with 2019 profit of HK$1.69 billion and was worse than an average forecast for a net loss of HK$19.9 billion by 13 analysts, according to Refinitiv.

“Market conditions remain challenging and dynamic,” Cathay chairman Patrick Healy said in a statement. “All our cash preservation measures will continue unabated. Executive pay cuts will remain in place throughout 2021.”

Cathay lacks a domestic market at a time when international borders are largely closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. In December, Cathay’s passenger numbers fell by 98.7% compared with a year earlier, though cargo carriage was down by a smaller 32.3%.

Nearly 60% of its 2020 revenue of HK$47.9 billion was from its cargo operations, up from around 20% in 2019

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