Travellers flying with Cathay Pacific next month could encounter flight disruptions as a result of possible pilot strikes, which may come into force if the airline decides to reduce pay in order to cut costs, the South China Morning Post reports.
Hong Kong’s struggling flag carrier posted a HK$2.05 billion loss for the first half of 2017 earlier this year, and since then the airline has been looking to cut costs, with pilots’ salaries and benefits in particular being targeted.
According to the Post, pilots will vote on whether or not to take action between December 13 to 27, but the pilots’ union has said strikes could take place at any point from December 14 onwards if the airline pushes through cuts without its members’ agreement.
Both the airline’s managers and pilots have been in discussion for some four months regarding cuts, but an agreed-upon plan has yet to emerge.
Cathay Pacific has been experiencing financial difficulties following losses from its fuel-hedging strategy as well as competition from low-cost, mainland Chinese and Middle-Eastern carriers.
In May this year, the airline announced it would be cutting 600 staff by the end of 2017 as part of its efforts to return to profit.
Earlier this month, fellow Oneworld alliance member Qatar Airways purchased a 9.61 per cent stake in Cathay Pacific, making it the third-largest shareholder in the Hong Kong flag carrier.