Cathay Pacific to shut down pilot base in London

Rayman Cheuk Wai-man/

Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific is closing its pilot base in London, the United Kingdom. The move comes after the airline put the British base under review in July 2021.

“Cathay Pacific has informed the concerned pilots its decision to close the pilot base in London after an intensive consultation period,” Cathay Pacific told AeroTime News on September 10, 2021.

The decision to close the pilot base in London was not one the airline “has taken lightly and it does not reflect on the professionalism of the pilots” Cathay Pacific first told Reuters on September 9, 2021. London-based pilots will have a possibility to move to Hong Kong or will be offered redundancy.

The British base is the latest to face a closure following four other foreign base shutdowns. In April 2021, Cathay Pacific closed its pilot base in Canada. Other closures followed in Australia, New Zealand, and Germany. Cathay Pacific is still reviewing its North American pilot bases. 

In July 2021, Cathay Pacific carried a total of 54,092 passengers, an increase of 25% compared to July 2020, but a slump of 98% compared to the pre-pandemic level in July 2019.

Cathay Pacific, which lacks a domestic market, has suffered substantial losses after the COVID-19 pandemic caused the collapse of international air travel demand. Cathay Pacific has already laid off 5,900 employees in 2020. As per data, out of 178 aircraft in its fleet, 84 are currently parked.

Updated with Cathay Pacific response

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