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

SHANGHAI, March 15 (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.

($1 = 7.7689 Hong Kong dollars)

(Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Himani Sarkar)