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

Reuters April 17, 2020 13:01:07 IST
Coronavirus Outbreak: Cathay Pacific to close US cabin crew bases, lay off 286 staff as global travel comes to halt

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.

Coronavirus Outbreak Cathay Pacific to close US cabin crew bases lay off 286 staff as global travel comes to halt

Representational image. AFP

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.

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