While seeing no signs of recovery in the short term, Cathay Pacific offered its Hong Kong-based flight and cabin crew as well as airport staff to take voluntary redundancy to reduce costs.
Cathay Pacific took the urgent measure to further cut its costs as the airline noticed „no discernible improvement“ in its business amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As the flag carrier of Hong Kong expected to operate the shrunk passenger flight schedule for an undefined time, it asked the flight crew and cabin crew members whether they would leave the company. However, it did not specify the exact number of staff needed to be cut to reach its goal.
Speaking to local media on April 28, 2021, a spokesperson confirmed the recent airline’s move.
“Based on requests from some of our employees, we have decided to offer certain of our employee groups [pilots, cabin crew, and airport employees – ed. note] the option of a voluntary separation scheme,” the spokesperson said. “We are providing support to all those who apply, including a competitive exit package.”
Suffering the devastating impact of the ongoing pandemic, Cathay Pacific disclosed plans to close one of few overseas flight crew bases in mid-April 2021, putting hundreds of employees at unemployment risk. While almost all of its Boeing 777 jets as well as a major part of its Airbus A350-900 aircraft are grounded, the airline faces a surplus of pilots. It has already laid off 5,900 employees in 2020.
Under the new voluntary redundancy scheme, the airline also offered voluntary redundancy for ground staff working at Hong Kong International Airport (HKG).
Having suffered almost a $2.8 billion loss in 2020, Cathay Pacific was one of the first airlines in the region to be hit by the pandemic crisis. According to the latest financial update, the airline continues burning around $244,743 million per month.