09 OCT 2019: As the months-long pro-democracy protests continue, Hong Kong Airlines, like Cathay Pacific, has cut capacity on multiple routes. The airline now plans to do the same to its expat pilots, and could soon offer them voluntary leave without an obligation to repay training costs and salary advances.  

HK Airlines is now mulling an official voluntary separation scheme to remove pilots, flight attendants, and some other staff from the payroll, an airline official said.

Its expat pilots are mostly from Europe with some from Southeast Asia.

Having already offered voluntary redundancy to some pilots after it scrapped flights to Cairns, Gold Coast, Auckland, and Fuzhou, HK is looking at scaling back US services.

The daily Airbus A350-900 service to San Francisco has been cancelled and the carrier reportedly ,will soon downgrade its daily Los Angeles service to five flights a week.

"As the strength of the protests in Hong Kong that started in May gained momentum, market demand weakened," an unnamed official told Aviation International News.

"It would not be a surprise should HKA be reduced to a regional carrier due to the highly competitive market."

 

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