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HK Airlines finances questioned as staff face unpaid leave and delayed salary payments

Hong Kong Airlines staff may need to bear the brunt of reduced working hours, delayed salary payments, and taking unpaid leave as the airline’s financial situation has seemingly hit a perilous juncture.

A report from South China Morning Post states that the airline is likely suffering from a cash flow shortfall. On 27 August, Hong Kong Airlines management issued a statement to its staff, stating that employees were encouraged to clear their unused annual leave. The airline would also consider implementing additional measures, such as part-time options or unpaid leave programmes to all employees across the board.

Though Hong Kong Airlines said that the company valued its staff and paid salaries on time, Apple Daily reported that though the airline was supposed to credit its salaries yesterday (28 August), the company has delayed its payroll to 30 August. From September onwards, the airline will pay its salaries at the end of each month.

The company said that the city’s ongoing protests have affected the city’s economy, citing revenues of core industries including tourism, hospitality, catering, retailing, logistics, transport, and aviation all being significantly reduced, according to South China Morning Post.

This is not the first time that Hong Kong Airlines has been rumoured to be suffering from financial difficulties. In March, the company made plans to reduce the size of its fleet from 38 aircraft to 28, resulting in some raised eyebrows.

Recently, news broke that a group of investors headed by Citic Group, Wuxi Company, and the family of HKSAR chief secretary Henry Tang may be planning to take a majority stake in Hong Kong Airlines.

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