Hong Kong, Aug. 1, 2020 Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd said it will offer a voluntary scheme to its Hong Kong-based pilots, who are approaching retirement age, to leave the group early.
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 have told Reuters.
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.
($1 = 7.7502 Hong Kong dollars)
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)
Sexual violence: Mrs Akeredolu pledges to partner stakeholders
The wife of Ondo State Governor, Mrs Betty Akeredolu, has pledged her readiness to partner with relevant stakeholders to end cases of sexual violence in the state.
Akeredolu spoke on Tuesday in Akure at a stakeholders meeting on gender-based sexual violence
According to her, an action plan must aim at addressing the issue of rape in the state holistically.
The governor’s wife, therefore, advised stakeholders to collectively come up with a reasonable action plan that would end the menace.
Mrs Titi Adeyemi, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, said the essence of the meeting was to have a follow up forum on the previous meeting with stakeholders on rape and gender based violence.
Adeyemi noted that the spate of rape cases and gender-based violence was becoming alarming.
“It has become so worrisome, especially during the coronavirus period, which concerns every individuals.
“There has been an upsurge on issue of rape and all hands must be on deck to curb it.
” That is the main reason Mrs Akeredolu and relevant authorities have shown great concern at this time.
“We have put a team of experts together, people who have technical knowledge on gender-based violence issues to look for a lasting solution.
“We have a whole range of stakeholders coming together to evolve an action plan to tackle the menace, and I believe that this move is going to assist the state and the society at large,” she said.
Adeyemi said her ministry had concluded plans with the Ministry of Budget to include funds for gender-based violence management in its budget.
She also said that a desk for management of gender based violence cases would be created while government would build the capacity of care givers as well as empower victims.
The commissioner commended the governor’s wife for contributing to the proactive measures put in place to curb the menace in the state.
Mrs Bola Ogundadegbe, the Chairperson of Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) in the state, disclosed that the 112 rape incidents recorded since 2017 had been charged to court.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that stakeholders at the meeting included representatives from Ministries of Justice, Education, Health, Women Affairs as well as representatives of non governmental organisations specialising on rape cases.
Edited By: Muftau Adediran/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)
Spain records lower unemployment in July
The Spanish Government on Tuesday said the rate of unemployment declined slightly in July compared to the previous month, in spite drastic measures implemented to fight the spread of the coronavirus.
According to the Labour Ministry, the number of unemployed people declined by 2.3 per cent, or circa 90,000 people, to 3.8 million.
However, analysts were surprised by the result, as predictions had said the number would rise by 20,000.
The figures indicate the Spanish labour market was recovering after unemployment numbers rose by 302,000 in March and 283,000 in April, but only 26,500 additional people were reported unemployed in May and 5,100 in June.
This, they said, marked an ever smaller increase in the rate of unemployment in the country.
The impact of the coronavirus crisis was more apparent in comparison to 2019, however, unemployment in July was 25 per cent higher than in July 2019.
Edited By: Yahaya Isah/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)
Philippine capital, surrounding provinces return to lockdown
More than 27 million people in the Philippines on Tuesday went back under stricter lockdown measures as the Health Department reported a record number of new coronavirus cases.
The department reported 6,352 additional coronavirus infections, pushing the country’s total caseload to 112,593.
The department added that death toll also rose to 2,115, following 11 additional deaths.
Meanwhile, almost half of the additional cases were confirmed in the Metro Manila region, which has been placed under what is locally called modified enhanced community quarantine for the next 15 days.
The protocol was also imposed in the four surrounding provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal.
Also, public transport, private and government offices and other commercial services were suspended in the five regions, while people were prohibited from leaving their homes unless for essential trips.
Dine-in services in restaurants were also suspended, and some of the 16 cities in Metro Manila re-imposed a ban on alcohol.
Catholic churches were once again closed to the public, as well as beauty salons and gyms.
Coronavirus cases in the Philippines have been increasing since the government began to ease restrictions in June in a bid to revive the economy.
One of the doctors who joined the call warned that if the infections were not halted, the country would be the next New York City, where people die on stretchers due to lack of space in hospitals.
Health Undersecretary Maria Vergeire urged the public to follow minimum health standards of wearing face masks, frequent handwashing and maintaining physical distance.
“We all know the situation in the country. We all know that as long as there is no vaccine or cure, we have to learn to live with the virus.
“That is why we are always reminding the public to follow health protocols,” she said.
Edited By: Yahaya Isah/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)
Study shows number of COVID-19 cases in Italy higher than expected
A study published on Tuesday in Italy showed that six times as many people as officially recorded could have been infected with the coronavirus in the country.
The study, which was conducted by the health ministry and the Statistics Bureau, Istat, found that 1.5 million people (2.5 per cent) of Italy’s population could have developed coronavirus antibodies.
The result is based on tests of 64,660 people, who were chosen as representative samples, between May 15 and July 15.
According to data by the United States Johns Hopkins University, only 248,000 million people were infected with the coronavirus in Italy and 35,000 people died.
Since March, the number of weekly new cases has drastically declined in the Mediterranean country.
The study also showed that there were drastic regional differences with regard to the antibodies.
However, in Lombardy, Italian Northern region that was one of the epicentres of the first outbreak, 7.5 per cent of people had antibodies, while in Southern Italy, the number stood at less than 1 per cent.
Edited By: Yahaya Isah/Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)