Hong Kong Airlines has been forced to fire 400 of its staff with others ordered to take unpaid leave amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The South China Morning Post reported that the airline plans to cut about 10% 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.

It was also revealed that remaining 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.

Additionally, Hong Kong Airlines will reduce its daily operations to 30 from 82 sectors over Feb. 11 to March.

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