Cathay Pacific employees asked to take 3 weeks unpaid leave

The Hong Kong carrier has asked its 27,000 employees to take three weeks of unpaid leave as demand has been hit by the Wuhan virus outbreak.
By: | February 7, 2020

Amidst the Wuhan virus which has hit demand for Cathay Pacific, the airline has asked its 27,000 employees to take three weeks of unpaid leave to help the company tide through these difficult times.

The Hong Kong carrier has already seen its demand affected by the Hong Kong protests which started since June last year. And the latest virus outbreak has made matters worse as travelers avoid trips to China and Hong Kong.

In a video message to its staff, CEO Augustus Tang asked employees to help the company to preserve its cash by taking three weeks of unpaid leave, although it’s not mandatory.

“This has been one of the most difficult Chinese New Year holidays we have ever had,” he said. “We don’t know how long this will last. With such an uncertain outlook preserving our cash is now the key to protecting our business.”

This was the first time the company had asked its employees to take unpaid leave since the global financial crisis in 2009.

“We had the overwhelming support of our employees,” he added. “It made an enormous difference. The situation now is just as grave and I ask for the same commitment to the future from you.”