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Hong Kong airlines say $335 million in financial aid is not enough

03/25/2020| 2:27:09 PM|

Airlines in Hong Kong have pointed to other government measures, including paying employees’ wages to prevent job losses.

Cathay Pacific and Hong Kong Airlines have said the HK$2.6 billion (US$335 million) in financial aid promised by the Hong Kong government and the city’s airport for the ailing aviation industry was not enough.

Hit by months of protests and now the coronavirus pandemic, Cathay said on Tuesday it needed “significantly more” government help than it was getting, while Hong Kong Airlines said carriers were still “struggling to survive”.

That help included a large portion of the HK$630 million set aside by authorities to reduce airport fees in the five months to June.

The government offered HK$120 billion last month in help to businesses as part of the city’s 2020 budget, but the aviation industry was excluded at the time.

Hong Kong’s flagship airline said last week its main brand, Cathay Pacific, and regional unit Cathay Dragon recorded an unaudited HK$2 billion loss in February, and it had previously warned of “substantial losses” in the first six months of this year.

While airlines in Hong Kong are not thought to be seeking direct bailouts, they have pointed to other government measures, including paying employees’ wages in some form to prevent job losses.

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TAGS: Cathay Pacific | Hong Kong Airlines | bailout
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