Cathay Pacific has just announced it’s asking all of the carriers 27,000 employees to take turns on three weeks unpaid leave as the Coronavirus and in previous months pro-democracy protests impacted the airlines bottom line.
Loads on Cathay Pacific and other carriers have been devastated over travelers fears of the Coronavirus but over the last year many have also avoided traveling to Hong Kong altogether while protests against oppressive government measures have been going on.
SCMP just broke the news of Cathay Pacific announcing this measure to their employees.
Cathay Pacific is asking all of its 27,000 employees to take three weeks of unpaid leave over the coming months, the company’s CEO told staff on Wednesday, as Hong Kong’s flagship carrier reels from the devastating impact of the deadly coronavirus on air travel.
“I am appealing to each and everyone one of you to help,” said Augustus Tang Kin-wing in a taped video recording, adding the situation the company faced was “just as grave” as the global financial crisis of 2009.
“Preserving our cash is now key to protecting our business,” he said.
The airline is asking staff to take leave on a voluntary basis between March and June.
On Tuesday, the airline unveiled massive cuts to flying schedules – 30 per cent worldwide for two months, including a 90 per cent cut in capacity to mainland China. …
“We don’t know how long this will last,” said Tang, who has only been in the top job since August.
The airline has already sought price reductions from suppliers, frozen hiring, postponed major projects and stopped all non-critical spending, as part of an earlier package of measures to cope with the impact of months of anti-government protests.
Honestly I can’t see many employees being in the position of taking the initiative here. Several weeks of unpaid leave in Hong Kong? That’s a huge impact on a families finances.
With airlines all across the board reducing capacity or scrapping flights altogether the financial impact will be huge. At the same time I could also see Cathay Pacific gaining some passengers after United and American have decided to suspend their own HK flights during February.
This will likely last way longer than February and I expect airlines to uphold their capacity cuts for quite some time.