Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific has said it expects to report a loss of HK$9.9 billion (£1 billion) for the six months ended June 30th.

The figure compares to a net profit to shareholders of HK$1.3 billion for the same period in 2019.

This huge loss includes impairment charges amounting to approximately HK$2.4 billion, which relate to 16 aircraft that are unlikely to re-enter meaningful economic service again before the 2021 summer season.

This estimated interim net loss is in the process of being reviewed by our auditors and may be subject to adjustments, the airline added.

Cathay Pacific and subsidiary Cathay Dragon carried a total of 27,106 passengers last month, a decrease of 99.1 per cent compared to June last year.

Revenue passenger kilometres fell 98.8 per cent year-on-year.

Cathay Pacific Group chief customer and commercial officer, Ronald Lam, said: “The landscape of international aviation remains incredibly uncertain with border restrictions and quarantine measures still in place across the globe.

“Although we have begun to see some initial developments, notably a slight increase in the number of transit passengers following the easing of transit restrictions through Hong Kong International Airport, we are still yet to see any significant signs of immediate improvement.”

Lam added of the airlines’ June traffic performance: “Demand continued to be very weak in June with our airlines carrying less than one per cent of the passengers we carried in the same month in 2019.

“We operated about four per cent of our normal passenger flight capacity in June.

“This was slightly more than we operated in May, having resumed services to some destinations such as New York, San Francisco, Amsterdam and Melbourne in late June.

“Load factor remained low at 27 per cent, and on average we carried approximately 900 passengers a day only.”