Aviation News Desk:
Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. will cut 6,000 jobs and close its Cathay Dragon brand, as part of a strategic review to combat the deep damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic. It initially planned about 8,000 layoffs globally, but after government intervention reduced that to 18 per cent of its total workforce, including some 5,000 jobs in Hong Kong. report Gulf News.
The company, which posted a HK$9.9 billion ($1.3 billion) loss in the first-half, has for months been working on the review that management presented to the board on Monday. Cathay said in September it wouldn’t survive unless it adapted its airlines for the “new travel market”.
Cathay’s passenger traffic slumped as travel restrictions escalated and people refrained from flying, with numbers as low as 500 a day in April and May. On October 19, the company said it expected to operate at about 10 per cent of pre-pandemic capacity for the rest of the year and well below a quarter in the first-half of 2021. For September, passenger numbers were down 98.1 per cent from a year earlier.
Cathay carried out a HK$39 billion recapitalization plan that was completed in August and left the Hong Kong government with a 6.08 per cent stake in the company and two observer seats on its board. In another effort to cushion the blow from the loss of passengers, the airline has been renegotiating aircraft deliveries from Airbus SE and Boeing Co.