Cathay workers to gain 3pc pay rises

Local | Amy Nip 7 Dec 2018

Starting off the New Year, Cathay Pacific Airways' 14,600 Hong Kong-based employees, including flight attendants - but excluding pilots - will see pay rises averaging 3 percent.

The airline also announced one month's discretionary bonus for this year, covering both employees of Cathay and Cathay Dragon.

The wage hike will start from January 1, "despite the very competitive environment that the airline continues to operate in," the company said yesterday.

The increase is higher than the previous 1 percent hike.

The Cathay Pacific Airways Flight Attendants Union said the hike will cover 9,200 flight attendants, as well as ground staff and office staff.

Union external vice chairman Kenneth Kwok Chin-hang said this year's negotiations were harsh, as unionists demanded a 5.5 percent raise, but they will accept the result and not threaten any industrial action.

Kwok said the company also promised an 8 percent pay rise for entry level flight attendants upon completion of seven years of service. The union had sought a 10 percent hike for the group.

Yesterday's announced pay rise will not apply to pilots, as the airlines' 3,300 pilots - with 2,400 represented by the Hong Kong Aircrew Officers' Association - are negotiating separately.

The union expects the company to come up with a deal in the next couple of days. The package including monthly cash allowances to pilots will then be presented to members to be voted on before year end.

Cathay has posted losses since 2016. The company lost HK$1.25 billion last year, but the loss narrowed to HK$263 million in the first half this year.

Earlier this year, the company said the "most dangerous" period in its business cycle had passed. It laid off 600 staff last year.

Between January and April, the number of passengers that Cathay and Cathay Dragon carried grew 2 percent from a year earlier, while capacity was 3.1 percent higher compared to last year. The airline projected it will return to profitability next year.

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