The moves come as part of a review of the airline’s overseas cockpit crew operations, which will also see it re-evaluate its European and United States pilot bases later this year, according to a memo sent to staff on Thursday.
The memo indicated the airline would start to transfer pilots to Hong Kong on a voluntary basis.
However, if the carrier were to transfer overseas pilots to Hong Kong, it could prove controversial.
Existing expatriate cockpit crew in the city are only receiving short-term work visa approvals, and there is a large pool of unemployed local pilots following the shutdown of Cathay Dragon last year. Hong Kong authorities could block the move.
Furloughed Europe- and US-based pilots have been receiving half of their salary, while their Canadian colleagues were getting two-thirds.
Since April 1, however, Cathay has not been paying its Australian crews.
All overseas passenger fleet pilots had been stood down since May last year, the airline said.
Deborah McConnochie, Cathay’s general manager for aircrew, said the decision to close the Canada base was “not taken lightly”. She said the airline had also written to Australian and New Zealand pilots to start a consultative process “based on a proposal to close those base areas”.
“We have not made any decisions on bases other than Canada at this time nor any general decision on the future of bases – each base area will be considered on its own merits and any decision to close, maintain or restructure that base area will not have a bearing on any subsequent base reviews,” she said in a statement.