Cathay Pacific to close Cathay Dragon subsidiary, slash workforce

Hong Kong (AFP) –


Cathay Pacific is to slash up to 5,900 jobs and shutter its Cathay Dragon subsidiary, the Hong Kong carrier said Wednesday, joining a growing list of airlines making swingeing cuts as they reel from the coronavirus pandemic.

Across the globe, airlines have been hammered by the pandemic slashing international travel and they face a long, hard winter after a much-hoped-for rebound from the crisis failed to materialise.

On Wednesday, Cathay published a corporate restructuring plan that will lead to thousands of job losses and one of its airlines to disappear completely.

Bosses said 5,300 jobs would go among the airline's Hong Kong-based employees with a further 600 losses overseas -- the equivalent of 17 percent of its total workforce.

Cathay Dragon, a subsidiary that primarily flies shorter haul flights within Asia, will cease operations.

The company is seeking regulatory approval to absorb Dragon's routes into Cathay Pacific and its budget airline HK Express.

"The global pandemic continues to have a devastating impact on aviation and the hard truth is we must fundamentally restructure the Group to survive," CEO Augustus Tang said in a statement.

"We have to do this to protect as many jobs as possible and meet our responsibilities to the Hong Kong aviation hub and our customers," he added.