Cathay to close down Dragon Air effective today

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  • cwoodward
    Participant

    Cathay Pacific have closed Dragon Air resulting in the redundancy of around 18% of the total CP groupe staff.
    It is planned Dragon routes will be taken over by Cathay and subsidiary HK Express.
    Major formal announcement later today.


    canucklad
    Participant

    My pal is a captain with Cathay , so hoping he’s going to be ok. Last time we spoke he was very gloomy indeed. Just wondering how CX view the future of their 777 fleet ?
    Fingers crossed for him and the family

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    Stevescoots
    Participant

    fortunatly my friends there have survived but they have lost several long time colleagues with over 30 years service


    cwoodward
    Participant

    My pal is a captain with Cathay , so hoping he’s going to be ok. Last time we spoke he was very gloomy indeed. Just wondering how CX view the future of their 777 fleet ?
    Fingers crossed for him and the family

    Only a 150 or so young second officers at CX have lost their jobs per the ‘last in-first out’ system that has been applied. AsI understand it at the moment some 98% of Cathay flight crew have been retained and are safe providing that the expectation of being able resume over 40% of pre virus flights by the end of 2021 is reached. The sting in the tail for flight crew is that they will be required to sign a new contract. Talking with a senior FO last evening his pay and conditions will not change significantly and he is not expecting to be worse off however the 800 or so senior captains that have been earning over HK$3.5 million p.a. will have their wings significantly clipped. The housing allowances up to HK$65,000 per month and schooling are unchanged for the next 2 years at least.
    Cabin crew numbers will be reduced by around 20% from the peak but a significant number have already resigned over the past 6 months those remaining will also be asked to sign new contracts
    Given that CX and SA are the two giant international airlines that have no domestic market to fall back on and are presently still flying significantly less than 10% of normal schedules it seems to me that given the disastrous circumstances Cathay Pacific have behaved pretty well towards their employees,which is more than can be said for several other large airlines.

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    canucklad
    Participant

    Cheers for the update cwoodward , much appreciated. Hopefully it’ll make my chat at the weekend much less gloomy than the last time we spoke
    And yes , appears CX is at the opposite end of the employee relationship model as BA

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    I also spoke to a colleague who has a CX pilot friend, and apparently he (the pilot) has had some reduction in pay but not enough to make him chuck it all in. As cwoodward said, benefits seem to be largely unchanged, it is the cash that has been reduced.

    All very sad, but somewhat inevitable.

    I am still surprised, however, that they are binning KA entirely. It had value to CX in maintaining a monopolistic hold on certain routes where the number of carriers was limited by air services agreements (according to my understanding) and, of course, was key to CX’s USP of being a “western” airline with superb access to Chinese destinations through a superb hub. Switching some of those routes to CX will work, and work well. Switching them to HK Express?? Not so much… And especially not for a business traveller. And although this was an understandable move, even for a pre-Covid world, I imagine CX are thankful that they initiated codeshares with HK Express but again, I would not be thrilled if I expected a Cathay-style experience on a ticket through to China and ended up on an LCC. I have, incidentally, flown HK Express and the entire experience, from check-in (utterly shambolic) onwards, was ghastly. Sadly I do have an upcoming booking with them, to Phuket (Thailand entry requirements permitting) because, of course, our booking with KA was abruptly cancelled – and UO is now the only airline operating HKG-HKT non-stop. Sigh….

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    K1ngston
    Participant

    I also spoke to a colleague who has a CX pilot friend, and apparently he (the pilot) has had some reduction in pay but not enough to make him chuck it all in. As cwoodward said, benefits seem to be largely unchanged, it is the cash that has been reduced.

    All very sad, but somewhat inevitable.

    I am still surprised, however, that they are binning KA entirely. It had value to CX in maintaining a monopolistic hold on certain routes where the number of carriers was limited by air services agreements (according to my understanding) and, of course, was key to CX’s USP of being a “western” airline with superb access to Chinese destinations through a superb hub. Switching some of those routes to CX will work, and work well. Switching them to HK Express?? Not so much… And especially not for a business traveller. And although this was an understandable move, even for a pre-Covid world, I imagine CX are thankful that they initiated codeshares with HK Express but again, I would not be thrilled if I expected a Cathay-style experience on a ticket through to China and ended up on an LCC. I have, incidentally, flown HK Express and the entire experience, from check-in (utterly shambolic) onwards, was ghastly. Sadly I do have an upcoming booking with them, to Phuket (Thailand entry requirements permitting) because, of course, our booking with KA was abruptly cancelled – and UO is now the only airline operating HKG-HKT non-stop. Sigh….

    Ian I wouldnt hold yuour breath about getting into Phuket unless your booking is for mid 2021! There is talk they wont open to tourists before March-April 2021…. not without jumping through hoops that have been spoken about on other threads….. Meaning we will probably miss you but there others here in Phuket if you need advice 🙂

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    Polly
    Participant

    Yes K1ngston, and thanks all for keeping us abreast of NON happenings in HKT. We have squashed it til Nov 21 if at all.
    Sad about Dragon tho, used it often to go up and down to DPS. Another place in our hearts is Bali of course, can’t visit. But hope these people survive until tourists visit again. Really miss our beach massages. Simple pleasures. Thank god l recorded a few minutes of the sea etc last visit. Love the people.


    cwoodward
    Participant

    ‘The Dragon’ of course may just be dormant not deceased.

    IanFromHKG makes reference to Hong Kong Express and I totally agree that it’s not a Cathay experience but of course it’s not a Cathay price ether. (it is very cheap) I have only traveled on it once at the behest of my sons and I didnt like it but then I don’t ‘like’ any LCC being the spoiled old dinosaur that I have become.
    In its defence though it was the best LCC airline that I have had the misfortune to travel on. Decent check in experience, newish and very clean aircraft,polite crew but of course still the horribly cramped seat. My flight was after the airline had been acquired by Cathay and as I understand it new larger aircraft are now being delivered and there may also be (ex Dragon) A330s being added. A proper business class has been mentioned but this seems more rumor than fact at this point.

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    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    Interestingly, the HK government has stated that CX cannot just assume that it or UO can just take over KA’s routes.

    Cue mainland or mainland-backed operators such as Greater Bay Airlines to jump in, grab routes formerly operated by the wicked imperialist overlords.

    So in order to defend their turf, perhaps Swire will indeed resuscitate KA. As I said before, abolishing the airline and the route monopolies/duopolies that came with it didn’t make much sense to me. It would be better, I would have thought, to keep it going, cut routes that the group no longer wishes to service, and merge the two further down the line in a way that maintained those traffic rights. But them, I’m just a passenger, not a manager!

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    cwoodward
    Participant

    The Hk government can of course grant rights to more than one airline on these previously Cathay Dragon routes.
    In fact very few routes are in question here as (I am told) that CX already holds the rights to all but about 4 of the Dragon destinations.
    If correct the future route allocation is not a particularly significant issue – but of course it makes good press.


    cwoodward
    Participant

    These are the top Dragon routes on which Cathay has also held licences for many years. Many of these routes were originally flown by Cathay and later flown by Dragon.
    PVG KHH PEK KUL HGH XMN FOC NKG PEN CTU CAN FUK TPE HKT PNH PVG SHA TAO NGB WUH -they were also Dragon’s top 20 routes by passenger numbers.
    As I understand it there is no impediment to Cathay again flying these routes although they would need landing slots reconfirmed. This should not be an issue.

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