Flight attendants and ground crew for Hong Kong’s de facto flagship carrier will receive a 1 per cent pay rise next year while most of its staff will get a one-month bonus, the loss-making airline said on Thursday.
Cathay Pacific Airways quietly reached a deal with its flight attendants union, which had asked for a 3.5 per cent pay rise.
The pay rise is below the city’s inflation rate for the first 10 months of this year, which averaged 1.4 per cent, according to the latest figures from the Census and Statistics Department. The rise compared with a 2 per cent increase for all non-managerial staff for 2017.
A Cathay Pacific spokeswoman said junior and middle level staff would receive a 13th month bonus payment, which means around 97 per cent of staff would be eligible for it. But the amount would be capped at HK$35,000.
Despite earlier demanding a 3.5 per cent pay rise for all staff, the union accepted the more modest deal affecting 80 per cent of staff, citing the airline’s restructuring and financial difficulties.
Some 16,000 Cathay Pacific staff are based in Hong Kong.
The pay rise affects junior cabin crew, check-in staff, ground crew and office staff.
“We feel a bit disappointed,” union vice-chairwoman Dora Lai Yuk-sim said. “However, thinking about the whole package and the situation with Cathay, we would like to take a step forward to go through the tough times with the company.”
The union added it expected the carrier to make a turnaround next year following the restructuring.
Cathay Pacific recorded a HK$2.05 billion loss (US$262 million) for the first half of this year and is on track to remain deep in the red by the end of 2017. The airline lost HK$575 million (US$73.5 million) last year.