Cathay Pacific cancels 62 flights amid pilot sickout

June 08, 1999|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

HONG KONG -- Cathay Pacific Airways said it canceled 62 of yesterday's 110 scheduled flights as large numbers of pilots again called in sick to protest the airline's contract ultimatum.

The airline, Hong Kong's only long-haul carrier, said it replaced 37 of the 62 canceled flights with charters from other airlines. Typhoon Maggie, which hit Hong Kong early yesterday, did not produce any flight disruptions, Cathay said.

"The determined efforts of our staff in arranging extra flights have seen delays diminish," said Tony Tyler, Cathay's corporate development director.

Cathay gave its senior pilots until Friday to sign a contract providing for a minimum 7 percent pay cut, or take voluntary retirement. Those who refuse to sign up for either option will be fired. The pilots' union, the Hong Kong Aircrew Officers Association, voted to strike if any are dismissed for refusing to accept the contract offer.

The disruption from the rash of sick calls is in its 12th day.

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