Cathay Pacific to pay deferred dividend to HK govt as operations return to normal By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A sign of Cathay Pacific is seen at its headquarters Cathay City in Hong Kong, China October 21, 2020. REUTERS/Lam Yik

(Reuters) – Cathay Pacific Airways (OTC:) Ltd said on Tuesday it would pay the deferred dividend of HK$1,524.1 million ($194.35 million) on the preference shares held by the Hong Kong SAR (HKSAR) government on June 30.

The airline also intends to pay all future preference shares dividends as they fall due, it said.

This comes as the global air travel industry recovers from the border closures and other disruptions caused by the pandemic.

Cathay Pacific also said it would not need to utilise the HK$7.8 billion bridge loan facility extended to it by the HKSAR government, which is set to expire on Thursday.

“As travel restrictions get lifted and travel demand returns, our group, further to being overall operating cash generative in 2022, has continued to be operating cash generative so far in 2023,” said Chief Executive Officer Ronald Lam.

The Hong Kong government had made investments in Cathay Group to support the flagship carrier and the Hong Kong international aviation hub through the COVID-19 crisis.

Hong Kong’s flagship carrier is currently targeting to operate around 70% of pre-pandemic passenger flight capacity by the end of 2023, with the aim of returning to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2024.

($1 = 7.8420 Hong Kong dollars)

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