When current Chief Operating Officer Ivan Chu takes over as CEO in March, he will be tasked with filling up premium seats as discount airlines grow in popularity throughout the market. Some challenges he will face include the weakening economy and emergence of budget carriers. "He’s got his job cut out for him," explained K. Ajith, an aviation analyst at UOB Kay Hian Research. "There’s competition coming from low-cost carriers and declining demand for premium cabins. The setting up of a low-fare carrier in Hong Kong is a threat for Cathay."
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