Cathay Pacific offers early retirement scheme to older pilots

Cathay Pacific has already taken short-term measures including executive pay cuts and two rounds of voluntary special leave scheme to cut costs. (AFP)
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Updated 01 August 2020

Cathay Pacific offers early retirement scheme to older pilots

  • Cathay Pacific has already taken short-term measures including executive pay cuts and voluntary special leaves

HONG KONG: Cathay Pacific Airways said it will offer a voluntary scheme to its Hong Kong-based pilots who are approaching retirement age to leave the group early, in a continued effort to cut costs amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The airline said in an email to Reuters on Saturday it is looking at different ways to reduce costs in the medium term, given reduced passenger demand with no immediate signs of improvement. The retirement plan was first reported in local media.
Cathay has already taken short-term measures including executive pay cuts and two rounds of voluntary special leave scheme.
Pilots aged 50 or 55 and above, depending on the retirement age outlined in their contract as 55 or 65 respectively, are eligible to apply for the early retirement scheme, the carrier said. Pilots aged 58 and above at its regional arm Cathay Dragon are also eligible.
“The decision comes after careful consideration and is an effective way for the Group to manage costs. Addressing a specific group of employees for this dedicated scheme helps us adjust to the new operating environment,” the carrier said.
The scheme will pay pilots who retire early three months basic salary for each year remaining before their normal retirement age, plus a further one-month allowance payment up to a maximum of 12 months’ basic salary.
Cathay said management is doing a comprehensive review of all aspects of the group’s operations, and it will make recommendations to the board on the future size and shape of the airline by the fourth quarter.
The group was looking to cut costs, streamline marketing, consolidate pilot contracts and move veteran pilots to cheaper contracts, sources said.
Cathay last month warned it expected to report a HK$9.9 billion ($1.28 billion) loss for the six months ending June 30, including impairment charges on 16 planes. The estimated loss would be Cathay’s biggest half-yearly loss in at least a decade.


Aramco profits fall in tough quarter, but sees partial recovery from COVID-19 impact

Updated 09 August 2020

Aramco profits fall in tough quarter, but sees partial recovery from COVID-19 impact

  • Aramco see’s “partial recovery” from pandemic impact
  • Aramco president says company remains resilient

DUBAI: Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company, reported a net income of $6.57bn for the second quarter of 2020, the period which witnessed the most volatile oil market conditions for many decades.

The result, announced to the Tadawul stock exchange in Riyadh where the shares are listed, compared with income of $24.7 bn last year.

Amin Nasser, president and chief executive, said: “Despite COVID-19 bringing the world to a standstill, Aramco kept going. We have proven our financial resilience and operational reliability, setting a record in our business operations, while at the same time taking steps to ensure the health and safety of our people.”

Aramco’s dividend - a big attraction for the investors who bought into the world’s biggest initial public offering last year - will remain as pledged, Nasser added. Cash flow in the quarter amounted to $6.106 bn.

““Strong headwinds from reduced demand and lower oil prices are reflected in our second quarter results. Yet we delivered solid earnings because of our low production costs, unique scale, agile workforce, and unrivalled financial and operational strength. This helped us deliver on our plan to maintain a second quarter dividend of $18.75 billion to be paid in the third quarter,” he said.

Aramco said the loss was “mainly reflecting the impact of lower crude oil prices and declining refining and chemicals margins, partly offset by a decrease in production royalties resulting from lower crude oil prices and a decrease in the royalty rate from 20 per cent to 15 per cent, lower income taxes and zakat as a result of lower earnings, and higher other income related to sales for gas products.”

Sales and revenue in the period - which saw oil prices collapse on “Black Monday” in April - fell 57 per cent to $32.861 bn from the comparable period last year. 

Nasser said he was cautiously optimistic that the world economy was slowly recovering from the depths of the pandemic lockdowns.

“We are seeing a partial recovery in the energy market as countries around the world take steps to ease restrictions and reboot their economies. Meanwhile, we continue to place people’s safety first and have adapted to the new normal, implementing wide-ranging precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19 wherever we operate.

“We are determined to emerge from the pandemic stronger and will continue making progress on our long-term strategic journey, through ongoing investments in our business – which has one of the lowest upstream carbon footprints in the world,” he added.

Aramco expects capital expenditure to be at the lower end of the $25bn to $30bn range it has already indicated for this year.