Cathay Pacific’s management has warned of “difficult trading conditions” despite a huge jump in first-half profit for the Hong Kong-based carrier. Even with a five per cent rise in fuel costs, Cathay’s net earnings leapt from HK$24m in H1 2013 to HK$347m (US$45m) this year. Chairman John Slosar said that the air cargo market – a significant part of Cathay’s business – was still lumbered with over-capacity, while fierce competition in the passenger segment “makes it difficult to maintain yields”. Cathay reported a loss from its 20 per cent holding in Air China, which itself owns 29.99 per cent of Cathay. Cathay’s biggest shareholder is Swire Pacific, which is also the owner of the HAECO maintenance group.