Cathay Pacific’s board of directors is expected to back a restructuring plan early this week that includes staff redundancies and pay cuts in a bid to keep Hong Kong’s flag carrier afloat, the Post has learned.
Employees will learn their fate before Friday but the Hong Kong government, which extended an economic lifeline to Cathay in June, is trying to pressure the company to offer more generous exit packages to the laid-off workers, according to multiple sources.
The restructuring comes after a months-long review of how Cathay should adapt to the collapse in demand for air travel due to the coronavirus pandemic. Shallow cuts were being planned, one source said, to position the company to take advantage of an upturn in demand. But if that uptick fails to happen, the airline could be forced into making another round of redundancies.
As of last week, Cathay was still finalising the cuts and whether they should be made to overall headcount or total job positions. Each option delivers a separate number and the lower one will be more palatable to the public.
At a time when the airline seeks to slim down its workforce, newcomer Greater Bay Airlines could end up taking on some of its former staff. The start-up, which is eyeing the rights to fly lucrative mainland and Asia-Pacific routes, launched its first public hiring effort last weekend to bolster its application for permits to operate out of the city.
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