23rd September 2020 – (Hong Kong) Cathay Pacific and its subsidiary Cathay Dragon have announced that it will not apply for the second phase of the Employment Support Scheme implying more layoffs soon. A Cathay Pacific’s internal source was quoted as saying that a series of manpower adjustments may be announced next month, including layoffs or salary cuts. As many as 6,800 jobs may be slashed at any time.
According to the sources, internal management personnel have analysed the number of surplus employees, including 1,200 pilots, 5,000 aircrews, and about 600 ground crews and the total surplus was about 6,800, accounting for approximately 25.6% of Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon’s global employees. The source said that even employees who are retained will need to face salary cuts. Cathay Pacific said that it will continue to communicate with various employee groups.
At this stage, the management will consider all options and make recommendations to the board of directors on the airline’s future operating scale and model in the fourth quarter to respond to global air travel needs and maintain the company’s finances at a healthy level. Cathay Pacific plans to explain the company’s future plans and other details to all employees as soon as possible in the fourth quarter.
Chan Wai-keung, a lecturer at Division of Social Sciences, Humanities and Design of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, believes that global airlines have layoffs, but the fact that Cathay Pacific has already received capital injection from the government has caused unfairness to other private companies. Cathay Pacific should have a corporate conscience after receiving government assistance. Social responsibilities, layoffs should be handled fairly, taking into account the rights and interests of employees. Chan pointed out that Cathay Pacific delayed the layoffs to the end of the year, reflecting that it has no plan to tide over the difficulties with its employees. “Cathay Pacific puts its own interests first.”