Cathay crew willing to take year-long unpaid leave
09/23/2020|2:11:48 PM|RTHK

Flight attendants with Hong Kong’s embattled flag carrier Cathay Pacific said on Tuesday that they are willing to go on unpaid leave for a full year or even longer, if that would allow them to keep their jobs in the longer term.

Cathay has warned that a major restructuring is inevitable as the airline continues to hemorrhage up to two billion dollars per month as passenger and cargo traffic have plummeted amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In another clear sign that mass layoffs are imminent, the carrier has also said it won’t be applying for the second round of the government’s coronavirus handouts – which would have required them not to sack staff.

The Cathay Pacific Airways Flight Attendants Union said they were not able to secure any concrete promises over job security during a meeting with the airline’s management team on Monday.

Vice-chairperson Amber Suen said a survey of around half of the union’s 7,000 members last week showed that a majority wanted the firm to introduce a voluntary departure scheme.

Cathay reported a first-half net loss of HK$9.9 billion last month. Hundreds of cabin crew lost their jobs over the summer after the carrier closed its crew bases in North America.

It received a HK$39-billion government-led bailout in June.

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