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Cathay Pacific sees 'incredibly challenging year' from coronavirus

2019 results top bearish forecasts despite Hong Kong protests

HONG KONG -- Cathay Pacific Airways has beaten analysts' bearish expectations by posting a net profit of 1.69 billion Hong Kong dollars ($217.5 million) for 2019 despite headwinds from prolonged social unrest in its home market of Hong Kong and the U.S.-China trade war.

Chairman Patrick Healy, however, said he expects Cathay will "incur a substantial loss" in the first half of 2020 under pressure from the new coronavirus outbreak, which has led it to slash three-quarters of its passenger flights for March and April. He said the airline will further adjust schedules "week-to-week... [to] make agile decisions."

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