Hong Kong Airlines to Cut 400 Jobs, Operations as Coronavirus Hits Travel

Hong Kong Airlines said on Feb. 7 that it will slash 400 jobs and cut operations given weak travel demand because of the coronavirus outbreak, adding to financial woes for the city’s second-largest carrier.

The South China Morning Post first reported about the airline’s plans to cut about 10 percent of its workforce.

“As uncertainty looms with the evolving nature of this global issue, weak travel demand will likely continue into the summer season and we need to take further action to stay afloat,” an airline spokesman said in an email to Reuters.

“There has never been a more challenging time in Hong Kong Airlines’ history as of now. These decisions are difficult but had to be made to keep the airline alive,” he added.

Several airlines have suspended flights to China, where the novel coronavirus is believed to have originated. The flu-like coronavirus can be transmitted from person to person.

It has spread globally, with 320 cases in 27 countries and regions outside mainland China, according to a Reuters tally of official statements.

Hong Kong Airlines, part owned by cash-strapped Chinese conglomerate HNA Group, said it will reduce its daily operations to 30 from 82 sectors over Feb. 11 to March.

It also said its Hong Kong-based ground staff will be asked to take a minimum of two weeks unpaid leave per month, or switch to working three days a week between Feb. 17 and June 30.

Article URL : https://www.theepochtimes.com/hong-kong-airlines-to-cut-400-jobs-operations-as-coronavirus-hits-travel_3230764.html

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