Cathay Pacific Airways has not ruled out further staff cuts as part of its ongoing cost-reduction programme. Chief operating officer Philip Chen said the company preferred to create revenue rather than cut costs. 'We have no current plans to lay off staff but this is not absolute,' he said. The airline recorded its first loss for 25 years of $175 million in the first half of this year. Mr Chen warned of a difficult second half. He said the company was in the process of negotiating with its pilots over salary adjustments. 'Our ultimate aim is to make every department competitive,' he said. The airline is to launch its second direct flight to San Francisco, after starting direct flights to Istanbul. Mr Chen said the new route would boost passenger numbers as it was one of the most popular destinations apart from London, Sydney and Los Angeles. The first daily flight is on December 1.