A senior Cathay Pacific executive yesterday played down the prospects of a branded budget airline to tackle the challenge of low-cost competitors. The comments by Cathay's director and chief operating officer, Philip Chen Nan-lok, came after the carrier's director of sales and marketing James Barrington said that a subsidiary airline offering reduced fares for a lower standard of service looked attractive. 'I would not rule out all possibilities,' said Mr Chen, who will take over as the airline's chief executive later this year. 'But it's not a good idea to have Cathay Lite.' Mr Chen is in New York promoting the airline's daily non-stop service from Hong Kong to New York which starts on July 1. 'The key point is good value for money,' he said. 'We have to make sure our marketing position is understandable to all customers. Now, Cathay is already offering all kinds of fares for all kinds of people.' Mr Chen shrugged off concerns about the invasion of low-cost carriers into Asia. 'Think about this, [low-cost carriers like] Orient Thai have been here for quite a few years and also Cebu Pacific. It was not something that happened yesterday and emerged as a threat now. But we have to make sure our market segmentation is correct. 'We also cannot transplant the US system into the Asia-Pacific region because they are cheaper airports in the US,' he said. Mr Chen also warned that the high impact of rising oil prices would be revealed on August 3 when they released their interim results. 'We should also note that oil prices are not at their peak in summer,' he said. 'Oil prices will exceed 20 per cent as a percentage of operating cost.'