Coronavirus Outbreak: Cathay Pacific to close US cabin crew bases, lay off 286 staff as global travel comes to halt
Cathay Pacific has grounded most of its planes because of the fall in demand, flying only a skeleton network to major destinations
Sydney: Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd will close its three cabin crew bases in the United States, the airline said on Friday, laying off 286 staff as the coronavirus pandemic has virtually halted global travel.
The carrier has grounded most of its planes because of the fall in demand, flying only a skeleton network to major destinations such as Beijing, Los Angeles, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and Vancouver in April and May that represents just 3 percent of normal capacity.
In a statement, Cathay said it was communicating with the affected crew in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles as well as their union.
Last month it announced the closure of its Vancouver cabin crew base, with 147 crew, as part of a business review.
On Thursday, Cathay said it was exploring all available options to ride out the storm and doing all it could to preserve cash. One day this week, it had carried just 302 passengers, compared to around 100,000 on a typical day.
Chinese foreign ministry hit back further against the United States, suspending talks and cooperation on multiple agreements between the two — including on fighting climate change
The city has seen more cases of the disease than any other place in the United States, with 1,092 infections detected so far
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has a long history of standing up to China. It all began 31 years ago, in 1991, when as a young Congresswoman she visited Beijing’s Tiananmen Square to pay a tribute to pro-democracy student activists massacred there