Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific posts first annual loss since 2008

FILE PHOTO: A Cathay Pacific Airways staffer walks past self check-in machines at the Hong Kong Airport in Hong Kong, China March 7, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Cathay Pacific Airways on Wednesday reported its first full-year loss since the 2008 global financial crisis, as overcapacity and mounting competition from mainland Chinese carriers continued to drag on demand.

The Hong Kong carrier posted a net loss of HK$575 million ($74.01 million) for 2016, versus a profit of HK$6 billion a year ago. This is only the third time the company has posted a full-year loss since it was founded in 1946.

The results fell significantly short of an average estimate for a net income of HK$384.86 million from 13 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters Starmine SmartEstimate had forecast a much lower profit of HK$27.10 million.

Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Himani Sarkar