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Cathay Pacific’s International Pilots Denied Visas For Hong Kong

Almost 500 non-local Cathay Pacific pilots have had their work permit applications knocked back by Hong Kong’s Immigration Department. Cathy Pacific cycles has confirmed 496 pilots whose jobs were dependant on securing work permits have failed to get the necessary tick of approval from Hong Kong authorities.

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Hong Kong authorities have rejected applications for work enables by nearly 500 Cathay Pacific pilots. Photo: Cathay Ocean

Cathay Pacific pilot jobs contingent on relocating to Hk

According to a report by Danny Lee in The South China Morning Post on the weekend,   Cathay Pacific pilots based in places like Canada, Germany, New Zealand, and Australia have attempted in order to relocate to Hong Kong to hold onto their own jobs at the airline.

Cathay Hawaiian has shut several offshore pilot bases this year as it attempts to cut costs as anemic levels of flying slowly strangle the airline. As bases closed, Cathay Pacific told pilots they needed to move to Hong Kong to be able to keep their jobs.

But Hong Kong’s Immigration Department declined every application for work allows from these pilots, many of whom have worked for Cathay Pacific for years.

“We have been informed by the Immigration Department that the work permit applications from overseas-based pilots who have applied to relocate for you to Hongkong have been declined, ” Cathay Pacific confirmed.

“We are reaching out to support these officers, many of whom will have the opportunity to help elect an enhanced termination benefit. ”

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Hundreds of Cathay Pacific pilots will likely lose their jobs after work permit applications were rejected. Photo: Getty Images

UK & US Cathay Pacific pilot jobs also at risk

Of the 496 work permit applied for, 423 of those pilots had previously been issued work lets allowing residency in Hongkkong at some point in time. Three hundred plus twelve pilots currently living and working in Hong Kong on work will allow had those permits extended, but 111 Cathay Off-shore pilots did not.

The number associated with rejected work permit programs is likely to increase. This month, Cathay Pacific confirmed it would close its London pilot base, putting the work of the 100 odd pilots based there in danger. Pilot bases in the United States also face an uncertain future with a decision on their particular future to be made later this year, risking a further 140 US-based initial jobs.

“Sadly, this represents yet another blow to those that have staked their career on Cathay Pacific Airways, ” said Alex Jackson, chairman regarding the Hong Kong Aircrew Officers Association.

“This decision was one made by the Hong Kong government, the options for a better resolution had been limited and outside our control, especially in the current climate. ”

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Cathay Pacific is only flying a fraction of its 2019 capacity. Photo: Cathay Pacific

High levels involving unemployment among existing Hong Kong-based pilots

It seems high local preliminary unemployment levels are behind the decision not to issue work permits.   In 2020, Cathay Pacific axed 5, 900 jobs, including pilot roles. The flight has trimmed an additional 2, 500 jobs this year as it flies at less than 15% of its 2019 levels . There are around 3, 000 surviving pilots based in Hong Kong. They’ve agreed towards long-term pay cuts that will hold onto their careers.

But the offshore-based pilots are not so lucky. However, with therefore many pilots living within Hong Kong out connected with work, some argue Hong Kong needs to look after its own people first. The South China Morning Post says 300 fliers living in Hong Kong are out of work, which includes many former Cathay Dragon pilots.

“It is good so that you can see that immigration is recognizing this, and denying new work visas as per their own policy, and we still hope that they extend this to help you visa renewals to expedite the re-employment of local pilots , ” the particular newspaper quotes an unnamed spokesperson for the unemployed pilots saying.

It is a grim situation all round with regard to all Cathay Pacific employees. But Cathay’s aviators based outside Hong Kong who’ve given years, even decades to the air travel, might rightly feel short-changed right now.

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