Hong Kong Airlines has started their first wave of terminations on Wednesday; one day after the airline stripped out almost all of its in-flight services, across all cabin classes. This termination involves 170 people and most of them are cabin crews.
Two weeks ago, the airline announced that they will be cutting 400 out of 3500 jobs; while the remaining employees will be asked to either take two months of unpaid leave or adopt a 3 day work-week up to June.
In a termination notice of an employee, the airlines wrote:
“We regret to inform you that based on the company’s recent review of its operational requirements, you will be made redundant.”
The airline would be paying an extra month salary and en-cash any remaining leave to affected cabin crews, while severance based on years of service would also be taken into account.
In last December, if not for the last minute cash injection by the government, Hong Kong Airlines would have lost its operating license. Unable to pay for its in-flight entertainment service, the airline has not offered screen entertainment since December.
On Tuesday, the airline made a drastic cut by only offering a bottle of water to Business Class passengers; Economy passengers received a pre-packed cup of water. Food, drinks, pillows and blankets were entirely removed.
In the company’s website, the airline explained that “to further strengthen our precautionary measures and reduce the risk of our crew and customers from being potentially exposed to coronavirus, Hong Kong Airlines will be limiting in-flight cabin activity and making temporary adjustments to our on-board services.”