Cathay Pacific freezes new hiring, to focus on cost cuts

September 12, 2019 15:13
Following a slide in passenger numbers in the wake of the social disturbances in Hong Kong, Cathay is seeking to cut costs in various ways. Photo: Reuters

Cathay Pacific Airways has put a freeze on new hiring as it battles a slump in demand from fliers avoiding Hong Kong amid the months-long civil unrest in the city, Reuters reports.

In a memo to staff on Wednesday evening, new Chief Executive Augustus Tang said he had asked executives to examine spending and focus on cutting costs, the report said.

Also, the airline will not replace departing employees in non-flying positions unless approved by a spending control committee, the CEO was said to have written.

Following a 11.3 percent slide in passenger numbers for August, Cathay has said it will cut capacity for the upcoming winter season.

The weak demand and cuts to capacity will heap more pressure on Cathay and its new management, appointed after CEO Rupert Hogg quit last month in a shock move and the resignation of Chairman John Slosar last week.

Cathay, which is trying to complete a three-year financial turnaround plan, has become the biggest corporate casualty of the Hong Kong protests after China demanded it suspend staff involved in, or supporting, the demonstrations that have plunged the former British colony into a political crisis.

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