Cathay Pacific has asked it’s 27,000 employees to take 3 weeks of unpaid leave from work to help the airline stay afloat during this rough financial time with the Coronavirus.
In a video message to employees on Wednesday, CEO Augustus Tang told employees that the current situation is as grave as the 2009 financial crisis.
Cathay Pacific has announced a 90% reduction in capacity on flights to China, and a 30% reduction in other flights across the world.
Employees have been asked to take “special leave” between March 1st and June 30th. “Preserving cash is the key to protecting our business,” the airline said.
Korean Air issued a warning Monday that their survival is being threatened by the Coronavirus and the effects that the virus is having on the airline industry as well as Korea iself.
More than half of the countries around the world have blocked Korean tourists from entering, thus requiring Korean Air to ground 100 of the 145 aircraft in their fleet.
This grounding of more than half their fleet has resulted in a reduction of 80% of their international travel. This is extremely drastic compared to their last major cut, which was only 18% of their international fights during the 1997-1998 Financial Crisis.
In a memo issued by the company, they stated that if the outbreak continues for a longer period of time, the airline will have no choice but to fold.