The city’s second largest air carrier Hong Kong Airlines is reportedly considering cutting its workforce by half in a bid to survive the ongoing pandemic. As part of a survival plan, the cash-strapped airline would temporarily focus on cargo-only operations.
The ailing Hong Kong Airlines would ground its entire fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft and deploy eight Airbus A330s with focus on only cargo operations, according to insider sources familiar with the matter, quoted by the South China Morning Post on June 7, 2021.
The all-Airbus airline has a total of 34 aircraft in its fleet standing at an average of 8.8 years, as per planespotters.net data. The largest part of the airline’s fleet consists of 21 Airbus A330 aircraft. Adding to that, Hong Kong Airlines has 12 Airbus A320s and one Airbus A350XWB.
This is not the first time the Hong Kong-based air carrier announces layoffs. At the height of the pandemic in 2020, Hong Kong Airlines, a member of the recently bankrupt Chinese aviation conglomerate HNA Group, has already axed jobs.
“These ongoing adjustments have not only drastically affected our revenue but also reduce our operating crew and staffing requirements in the foreseeable future,” Chris Birt, the airline’s director of service delivery, told staff in a memo on December 11, 2020.