Cathay Pacific Group flew back into the black in the first half of the year but warned of future “headwinds and uncertainty”.

The company revealed that protests in Hong Kong hit inbound travel and forward bookings in July.

The group achieved a profit of HK$1.3 billion in the six months to June 30 against a loss of HK$263 in the same half last year.

Passenger carryings rose by 4.4% to 18.2 million with revenue up by 5.6% to HK$37.4 billion.

Chairman John Slosar said: “Our airlines normally achieve better results in the second half of the year than in the first half and, despite headwinds and other uncertainty, we expect this to be the case in 2019.

“Geopolitical and trade tensions are expected to continue to affect the global economy and, in turn, demand for air travel and  air freight.

“The protests in Hong Kong reduced inbound passenger traffic  in July and are adversely impacting forward bookings.

“We expect the US dollar to remain strong. Fuel costs have recently weakened but we continue to expect fuel price volatility.

“Our transformation programme continues and we believe that we are on track to achieve our objective of sustainable long-term performance.”

Four new Airbus A350-1000 aircraft were delivered in the first half of 2019.  The group has 67 new aircraft on order to enter service over the next five years to improve fuel and operating efficiency.

“We continue to fit the latest economy seats in our Boeing 777 aircraft,” Slosar added. “These seats come with new, hi-definition screens for viewing our recently expanded in-flight entertainment.

“Wi-Fi is being installed on all our Boeing 777 and Airbus A330 aircraft; it is already available on all A350 aircraft.”