Cathay Pacific has reported a big turnaround in its financial fortunes following a capacity reduction, the withdrawal of older aircraft and lower fuel prices.

In the six months to the end of June, the carrier reported a profit of HK$24 (£2m), reversing a loss of HK$929 (£77.4m) in the same period last year. Turnover fell 0.6 per cent year on year to HK$48.6 (£4.05m). Load factors grew 1.2 percentage points to 81.3.

The Hong Kong-based airline said measures to protect it from the high price of jet fuel had paid dividends. These included schedule changes, reducing capacity and the withdrawal of four-engine aircraft in favour of Boeing 777 twin jets.

The carrier said the weakness of the Hong Kong and US dollars had affected yields but attracted increased traffic, resulting in an overall improvement. Frequencies that were cancelled as part of a 2012 cost reduction, including Los Angeles and Toronto have been restored and New York flights move back to four a day from September.

Cathay Pacific’s new premium economy class, introduced in 2012, is now on 68 long-haul aircraft and will be available on 85 by the end of the year. Christopher Pratt, the airline’s chairman, said the new cabin was growing in popularity.

The airline also said demand for travel to and from London was “consistently strong in all classes”. It added a fifth daily flight on the route in June.

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