Cathay Pacific Group has announced its Hong Kong-based flight crew and subsidiary staff to take voluntary redundancy. After the major overhaul since last October for surviving with a collapse in travel by Covid-19.
Cathay Pacific took this as an urgent measure to further cut its costs as the airline identify “no significant improvement “in its operation. As one of the largest employer and flag carrier in Hong Kong, the airlines expected to operate the shrunk passenger flight schedule for an undetermined period. The company and its subsidiary have consulted employees, including pilots, cabin crew, about leaving the company. However, the release did not specify the target number of staff needed to be cut to reach its goal.
The internal email has released on Wednesday to all staff and simultaneously notify the subsidiaries. The management mentioned the decision was based on requests from some employees as they expect no discernible improvement to operations in the short to medium term. A local newspaper reported earlier that Cathay Pacific had offered voluntary redundancy to pilots and cabin crew.
According to the internal email, the voluntary separation scheme (VSS) will offer two to six months’ pay to applicants according to seniority. Application is expected to open until May 12, and the aiming of employment to cease by May 31.
Cathay Pacific has 5,900 jobs in October 2020, cutting, including more than 500 pilots, and eliminated almost one-quarter of its total workforce. It reported a record-breaking loss of about HK$21.7 billion (S$3.7 billion). The closure of its regional airline Cathay Dragon and implemented a reconstruction plan to raise HK$39 billion to temporarily survival with the expense of HKD500million monthly.
Cathay Pacific chairman Patrick Healy said last month that passenger capacity would be well below 50 per cent of pre-pandemic levels in 2021.
With Covid-19 restrictions still holding back international travel, the airlines have been operating at skeleton capacity for 18 destinations in March. Carrying an average of 598 passengers a day.