Cathay Pacific Airways is laying off hundreds of cabin crew in the United States, as demand collapses because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Hong Kong carrier said Friday that it is shutting down cabin crew bases in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, effectively laying off 286 staff.
“As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic which has virtually halted global travel, Cathay Pacific has made the difficult decision to close its US cabin crew bases,” the company said in a statement.
Like all global airlines, Cathay has been hard hit by restrictions and travel bans issued by various countries in an effort to curb the transmission of Covid-19. The measures have led to a collapse in demand for air travel.
Cathay said in an email to customers on Thursday that it has reduced passenger capacity by 97% across its network for the month of April.
Pandemic forces airline industry into crisis: On Tuesday, the International Air Transport Association said that it now expects worldwide losses due to the coronavirus to top $314 billion, higher than the $252 billion in losses it had forecast just weeks earlier. The aviation group said travel worldwide has plummeted by 80%, much deeper than its earlier predictions.