Cathay Pacific to close US cabin crew bases, laying off 286 staff

Cathay Pacific announced last month the closure of its Vancouver cabin crew base, with 147 crew, as part of a business review. PHOTO: REUTERS

SYDNEY (REUTERS) - Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways will close its three cabin crew bases in the United States, the airline said on Friday (April 17), laying off 286 staff as the coronavirus pandemic virtually halts global travel.

The carrier has grounded most of its planes because of the fall in demand, flying only a skeleton network to major destinations such as Beijing, Los Angeles, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and Vancouver in April and May that represents just 3 per cent of normal capacity.

In a statement, Cathay Pacific said it was communicating with the affected crew in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles as well as their union.

Last month, it announced the closure of its Vancouver cabin crew base, with 147 crew, as part of a business review.

On Thursday, Cathay Pacific said it was exploring all available options to ride out the storm and doing all it could to preserve cash. One day this week, it carried just 302 passengers, compared to around 100,000 on a typical day.

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