Cathay Pacific asks its staff to take 21 days unpaid leave as Coronavirus spreads

posted on 5th February 2020 by Eddie Saunders
Cathay Pacific asks its staff to take 21 days unpaid leave as Coronavirus spreads

As the Coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on the aviation industry Cathay Pacific airline has made the unprecedented move of asking all of its 27,000 staff to take three weeks of unpaid leave in the coming months as demand crashed thanks to the outbreak.

The virus has infected more than 20,000 people worldwide, leading to at least 427 deaths.

The airline, flag carrier of Hong Kong, said it would cut 90 per cent of its flights to mainland China over the next two months, which it said would reduce capacity by 30 per cent.

More than two dozen airlines have now terminated flights to Chinese mainland, with several countries also banning the entry of those who have been there in the past two weeks.

“I think at this point, containment is already a lost cause,” said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

“To the extent that we have to deal with this, if this in fact is being transmitted like influenza, then there really isn’t much chance to contain it,” he said. “We can surely minimize transmission in health care facilities and some public spaces. But beyond that, this virus is going to kind of do what it damn pleases.”