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To Weather the Coronavirus, Cathay Pacific Will Be Making Layoffs, Reducing Its Routes and Fleet

To Weather the Coronavirus, Cathay Pacific Will Be Making Layoffs, Reducing Its Routes and Fleet
Taylor Rains

Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific has revealed that it is considering a “structural change” to weather the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Cathay Pacific has taken many cost-cutting measures, including furloughing pilots, laying off flight attendants, canceling nearly all passenger flights from April through the end of June, offering employees three weeks of unpaid leave, and cutting upper management salaries. Now, Cathay Pacific is looking at making even more significant changes to scale back its operations for the post-coronavirus world. These include more layoffs, reduced routes, and a reduced fleet. In a letter, Cathay Pacific sent a warning of the coming changes to its pilot group:

“We are currently working with colleagues from across the airline to model varying degrees of structural change that may be required to preserve our business and our collective future from the catastrophic impact of Covid-19. No firm direction has yet been set.”

Furthermore, there is speculation that the carrier may also look at consolidating its airline brands, which include Cathay Dragon, HK Express, and Air Hong Kong. In a statement, a Cathay Pacific spokeswoman emphasized the company’s drive to keep itself afloat:

“Given the very dynamic situation we are currently in, we are not taking anything off the table and we can’t rule out anything to ensure our airline business will come out from the crisis stronger and more competitive.”

According to The Post, the airline has also denied HK$1.84 billion in support from the Hong Kong government’s wage-support scheme, which prevents airlines from shedding staff until October. The aid would have only covered about 9% of the company’s annual wage expense, which was over HK$20 billion in 2019.

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