Hong Kong’s flag carrier and its Cathay Dragon unit carried 2.9 million passengers in August, down 11% from a year earlier, the company said in a statement on Wednesday. That’s the biggest drop since mid 2009.
The figures represent the latest sign that the airline is in crisis. About a month ago, China’s civil aviation authority began clamping down on Cathay, prompting the carrier to fire staff and threaten to terminate workers for even supporting the demonstrations -- let alone participate in them. Both the airline’s chief executive officer and chairman have since announced their resignations.
“August was an incredibly challenging month, both for Cathay Pacific and for Hong Kong,” Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Ronald Lam said in a statement, adding that tourist arrivals were nearly half what they usually are in what is typically busy summer holiday month. “We don’t anticipate September being any less difficult.”
The protests in Hong Kong, now in their 15th week, continue to impact the city’s tourism industry and in particular visitors from mainland China, who are usually its biggest group of tourists. The Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong said Wednesday that the number of Chinese group tours to the city in the first 10 days of September plunged 90% from a year earlier. That followed a 63% drop in August.
Government 'help' to business is just as disastrous as government persecution... the only way a government can be of service to national prosperity is by keeping its hands off.