Looking to compensate for two years of back-to-back losses, Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways last week reportedly sent an internal memo to employees based outside Hong Kong, in which it announced restructuring measures including shedding jobs in its overseas operations.
The airline has also offered a voluntary early retirement package to employees in Japan as part of the three-year restructuring effort, Bloomberg reported.
An article in the South China Morning Post quoted a source familiar with the airline’s plans as saying that there would be changes involving the “consolidation” of overseas sales, marketing, cargo and airport-based operations.
Cathay Pacific has about 7,600 employees based in 100 locations outside Hong Kong, but the carrier declined to reveal how many would be affected or which markets they were from, the report said.
More jobs will be axed
Cathay’s move comes about one year after it announced in a company magazine that it was “starting a comprehensive review of our outports – how they work with (our headquarters), which will have an impact on their own organisational structures.”
Trimming the workforce is part of the airline’s efforts to slash HK$4 billion (US$510 million) from its books to reverse two years of losses. Last May, Cathay slashed 600 head office jobs as a first step in the three-year exercise and spent HK$224 million on restructuring.
The SCMP quoted a source as saying that the coming job cuts would likely affect markets with the largest number of staff – such as Australia, the U.S. and Britain, where some employees confirmed they had been briefed by the head office.
Cathay Pacific lost HK$1.25 billion last year and HK$575 million in 2016, largely brought about by intense competition from mainland Chinese rivals and budget airlines as well as poor long-term fuel hedging.
Nol van Fenema
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