Crisis-struck mainland carriers put all foreign pilots on unpaid leave
02/07/2020|3:10:53 PM|SCMP

All foreign pilots working for China Southern Airlines, Hainan Airlines, and a host of smaller mainland Chinese carriers have been placed on indefinite unpaid leave, according to multiple sources and a memo seen by the Post.

With the coronavirus crisis forcing airlines to slash flights, several hundred foreign pilots have seemingly become surplus overnight, with some telling the Post they were considering their options amid the uncertainty now facing the world’s fastest-growing air market.

“All foreign pilots, including those who have applied for leave exemption and those who have not, shall start a non-fixed term leave without pay as soon as possible,” a Tuesday memo to a batch of foreign pilots for China Southern, the country’s largest carrier, said.

Their grounding was effective that day, with the pilots told they would “return to work when [the] situation gets better.”

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