"Cathay Pacific has made the difficult decision to close its US cabin crew bases"
SCMP reports that Cathay Pacific is laying off up to 300 employees in the United States due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Hong Kong airline said it is is closing its bases in the US as employing attendants for US flights is “no longer viable.”
286 staff will be sacked across bases in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
“As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic which has virtually halted global travel, Cathay Pacific has made the difficult decision to close its US cabin crew bases,” an airline spokeswoman said.
Between April and May, the airline is operating 3% of its usual schedule.
Currently there are only two flights per week to Los Angeles. Prior to the pandemic, the airline was operating 120 flights per week.
The airline will furlough of 129 pilots in Australia and 72 in the UK.
Cathay’s Australian Airbus pilots will stand down from May 1 until June 30.
Job protection schemes including government support for wages will be sought by the airline.
Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, which represents Cathay crew in the US, said, “we are devastated. These flight attendants are cherished members of our union.”
“We will be working to achieve severance and continued health care for as long as possible. And we will work to support them in every way we can.”
Earlier this year, Australian YouTuber Jamie Zhu has came under fire for scamming his way to a business class seat on Cathay Pacific.
In related news, a group of men were seen spitting at the front-door of a house belonging to Asian Americans amid the Coronavirus pandemic.