Cathay Pacific has said its annual loss for last year narrowed to as little as HK$5.6bn (£530m; $720m) even as Hong Kong remained under tight coronavirus travel restrictions.

It is much smaller than 2020’s loss and far less than analysts forecast.

The improvement was driven by strong cargo demand and cost cutting measures.

However, the company said it expects to burn up to HK$1.5bn of cash a month starting February, after aircrew quarantine rules were tightened again.

“While passenger travel continued to be acutely affected, cargo demand was strong throughout the year,” Cathay Pacific’s chief executive Augustus Tang said in a statement.