Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd will cut approximately 6,000 jobs, or 18% of its workforce, and axe regional brand Cathay Dragon to help it weather the coronavirus pandemic, The South China Morning Post reported on Tuesday October 20, citing sources.
The airline said in June that it was reviewing its strategy in light of the travel downturn, with "tough decisions" to be announced during the fourth quarter, and analysts expected that it would announce major job cuts.
That month, the Hong Kong government also led a $5 billion rescue package for the airline, which has been burning through approximately HK$1.5 billion ($193.55 million) to HK$2 billion of cash a month.
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The South China Morning Post said that the airline is expected to announce the job cuts on Wednesday October 21, adding that the figure had been reduced from 8,000 layoffs after government intervention.
The newspaper, citing unidentified sources, said that the airline will sacrifice Cathay Dragon, but staff and resources of the two airlines will be merged. Cathay declined to comment.
Last month, the airline last said that it would not apply for further government employment subsidies for its main business units, allowing it to make job cuts at Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon, though not at budget carrier HK Express.
Cathay has sent approximately 40% of its passenger fleet to less humid locations outside Hong Kong for storage. On Monday October 19, the airline said that it expects to operate less than 50% of its pre-pandemic passenger flight capacity in 2021.
September Passenger Numbers And Cargo Carriage
Passenger numbers fell by 98.1% year-on-year in September due to border closures, though cargo carriage was down by only 36.6%.