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Monday, 10 February 2020

Crisis time for Asian airlines

Troubled Hong Kong Airlines, hit by back-to-back crises and financial difficulties, announced Monday it is taking drastic measures to stay in business.

The airline will cut 400 jobs and severely restrict paid working hours for remaining staff, Travel Mole reported. 
Staff members not laid off will be required to take two weeks unpaid leave per month or work three days a week from February 17 until the end of June.

Hong Kong Airlines said a downturn in travel demand had severely impacted its business.

Before the coronavirus outbreak, the carrier had endured several tough months as passenger demand plunged due to the months-long pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. 
Hong Kong Airlines was established in 2006 and flies to more than 30 regional and international destinations in Asia and North America using both passenger and cargo aircraft
The coronavirus crisis is also affecting the finances of Cathay Pacific. 
It recently asked for its 27,000 workforce to take three weeks unpaid leave between March and June.
Spooked by the global reaction to the coronavirus, industry group the Association of Asia-Pacific Airlines has taken aim at governments around the world for imposing "arbitrary quarantine measures" and blanket travel bans.

These are well intentioned, but cause unnecessary inconvenience and are heightening public concern, said AAPA director general Andrew Herdman.

Herdman notes the World Health Organization has not recommended any international travel restrictions.

"Arbitrary restrictions and blanket travel bans are inconsistent with international health regulations. We believe that passengers can be trusted to make informed decisions, provided that there is open and transparent communication of accurate information," he said.

"At this critical juncture, improved cooperation and coordination by international organisations, national governments, health authorities and everybody involved in combating this global health emergency are of overriding importance."

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