After a turbulent year due to the Hong Kong protests in 2019, Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific reported a loss of HKD $2 billion (USD $257 million) due to the downturn caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The reported loss of HKD $2 billion came as the airline also had profits decrease by 29% in 2019. The airline had cut capacity by 30% in February and 65% during March and April.

"2019 was very much a year of two halves," Cathay chairman Patrick Healy told reporters on Wednesday.

The unaudited losses primarily were from Cathay Pacific, excluding the company's subsidiaries Cathay Dragon and budget airline HK Express.

As the outbreak continues, Healy also warned for more tough times ahead.

"We expect to incur a substantial loss for the first half of 2020," Healy said. "The scale of the challenge we currently face is unprecedented."

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