Pro-riot Cathay Pacific pilot confirmed to be leaving office

By Song Lin Source:Global Times Published: 2019/8/21 15:43:40

Another pilot from the Hong Kong's flagship airline, Cathay Pacific Airways, was confirmed to be leaving his job on Wednesday. He had earlier reportedly broadcast pro-riot views in the cabin.

Cathay Pacific confirmed with the Global Times that the pilot did leave his job, without disclosing whether he resigned or had been asked to leave by the airline, as was the case for the two previous pilots who were suspected of being involved in unlawful assembly.

Media reports on Wednesday noted one pilot of Cathay Pacific named Jeremy Tam had also left his job due to pro-riot speeches in the cabin.

Tam said on his Facebook account that he had handed in his resignation on Tuesday, which was effective immediately. 

The company also announced the resignation of two executives on Friday, including CEO Rupert Hogg and Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Paul Loo, according to a statement sent from Cathay Pacific to the Global Times on Friday.

"I hope the recent 'storm' in the aviation industry ends with my resignation," Tam said on his Facebook. His statement has drawn wide ridicule from netizens on the Chinese social media platform Weibo.

"Fortunately he resigned, or it would have been too dangerous for a supporter of radical protests to fly a plane," some netizens said. Others thought that Tam was taking himself too seriously and that his resignation would not stop anything.

Cathay Pacific has found itself in a vortex of public opinion since it has delayed drawing a clear line with company staff that supported the violent protesters. The company's shares have seen a cumulative slump of 15 percent in the past three months, according to media reports.

The share price of Cathay Pacific stood at HK$10.4 ($1.32) as of press time, a further 2.44 percent down from Tuesday. Last week, its shares hit a nine-year low at HK$9.55, bringing the loss in the company's market capitalization to more than HK$10 billion since July 18.

Cathay Pacific's passenger load factor was recorded at 86.1 percent in July, down 0.6 percentage points year-on-year, and the total weight of cargo and mail carried was 169.72 million kilograms, down 8.2 percent year-on-year, according to a statement the airline sent to the Global Times on Wednesday.

Cathay Pacific Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Ronald Lam noted in the statement that recent events in Hong Kong may bring a much more significant impact to the company's revenue in August and onwards, as "Traffic into Hong Kong, both business and leisure, has weakened substantially and we've also now seen ex-Hong Kong traffic starting to soften."

Augustus Tang, the new CEO of the airline, said in an email to staff that airlines' reputations are closely related to security since passengers entrust their lives to airlines, according to a statement the company sent to the Global Times on Wednesday.

Every employee of the company has the responsibility to protect their reputation from being compromised, Tang said, adding that the company has zero tolerance for all illegal activities or violations of company policies, which is not new.


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