Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways will lay off 286 cabin crew based in the United States as the coronavirus pandemic has virtually halted global travel.
Company will also cut out furlough 201 pilots based in Australia and Britain, it said on Friday. Falling demand, forced the carrier to ground most of its planes, flying only a skeleton network in April and May to major destinations such as Beijing, Los Angeles, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and Vancouver that makes up 3 percent of normal capacity.
In a statement, Cathay said it was communicating with the affected cabin crew based in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles as well as their union. The airline said it was standing down 129 Airbus pilots in Australia from May 1 until around June 30, although the end date could change. “Australia-based pilots are encouraged to bring forward their leave or apply for Cathay Pacific’s reduced salary scheme,” it added.
Its 72 London-based Boeing Co. 777 pilots will be furloughed and receive government assistance, if eligible, while pilots based in the United States and Canada are voting on a reduced salary scheme, the airline said.
Last month Cathay announced the closure of its Vancouver cabin crew base, with 147 crew, as part of a business review.