March 6, 2020 / 5:23 AM / a month ago

Cathay Pacific to close Vancouver cabin crew base, cutting 147 roles

FILE PHOTO: A passenger walks to the First Class counter of Cathay Pacific Airways at Hong Kong Airport in Hong Kong, China April 4, 2018. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd (0293.HK) said on Friday it was closing its Vancouver cabin crew base, laying off 147 crew members, as part of an ongoing business review.

The job cuts are the first announced by the airline since it cut 40% of its global capacity as a result of lower demand due to the coronavirus and asked all 27,000 of its staff to take three weeks of unpaid leave.

“As part of our ongoing business review, we have made the decision to close down our Vancouver cabin crew base,” Cathay said in a statement. “We are communicating with the union.”

Cathay had closed its Toronto cabin crew base last year affecting 120 roles before the virus hit, as part of its broader transformation plan designed to help it return to profitability.

The airline is due to release its full-year financial results on March 11, having already been hit hard in the second half of 2019 by lower demand related to sometimes violent anti-government protests in Hong Kong that deterred visitors.

Reporting by Jamie Freed; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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