Hong Kong Airlines given one week to save its licence

The authorities expressed "grave dissatisfaction and deep concern" that Hong Kong Airlines' financial position has not improved. PHOTO: REUTERS
The authorities expressed "grave dissatisfaction and deep concern" that Hong Kong Airlines' financial position has not improved.PHOTO: REUTERS

SYDNEY • Hong Kong Airlines, controlled by cash-strapped Chinese conglomerate HNA Group, must shore up its financial position by this Saturday or risk the suspension or loss of its licence, the Hong Kong government said yesterday.

Hong Kong's Transport and Housing Board (THB) said it met the city's second-largest airline last Wednesday and expressed "grave dissatisfaction and deep concern" that the carrier's financial position had not improved.

Yesterday, THB attached new conditions to the airline's licence, requiring it to raise cash and maintain certain cash levels.

Airport Authority Hong Kong said it was "very concerned about the financial situation" of Hong Kong Airlines and the potential impact on its passengers.

The airline last week announced it was delaying salaries as protests had "severely affected" its finances. It said revenue dipped significantly last month and impacted the monthly payroll.

Only cabin crew and overseas employees received last month's wages on time, while all other Hong Kong-based workers will be paid this Friday. Hong Kong Airlines cut some operations earlier last month and plans to cancel Los Angeles-bound flights from next February.

Other airlines have been affected by the unrest too. Cathay Pacific Airways issued profit warnings, while Singapore Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and Virgin Australia Holdings have all cut flights to Hong Kong.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 03, 2019, with the headline 'Hong Kong Airlines given one week to save its licence'. Print Edition | Subscribe