- Iconic Shangri-La hotel group and Hong Kong Airlines will lay off over hundreds of staff as the business continues to reel under the pandemic crisis.
- The layoffs were announced even after Hong Kong Airlines has received a stimulus package of HK$71.1 million
- Both the aviation and hospitality industries are facing bad times due to the pandemic crisis and have implemented cost cutting measures.
The state of the economy in Hong Kong continues to be in a shamble as businesses are still laying off people in the wake of poor economic recovery. The airline and the hospitality industries are perhaps the most affected in the country, which once saw attractive revenues throughout the year.
Even after receiving stimulus aid to support their staff, Shangri-La hotel group and Hong Kong Airlines have announced to lay off over 350 of their staff in their latest round of redundancies. Given the very slow rate of recovery, the existing employees in these industries are under constant threat that they might get fired next.
Hong Kong Airlines, the third-largest airlines of the country, will slash 250 flight attendants. It initially had 1,500 flight attendants and cabin crews but after two rounds of layoffs, it will now have 1,000 left on the board. Similarly, 100 employees will be laid off from the Shangri-La group.
The Hong Kong hotel and hospitality sector was in a very bad state even before the Coronavirus outbreak. The city had been marred by widespread protests which started in June 2019 as people clashed with police and caused mass disruptions over plans to allow extradition to China. Hong Kong, which was ruled by Britain till 1997, was given back to China. The people in Hong Kong were opposing when the new system tried taking away their autonomy and the widespread protests affected the business environment.
Following this, the city got highly affected by the coronavirus spread and businesses were shut down to protect customers and staff. The government at that time did roll out stimulus measures, but for most businesses, it was way far than required.
There were widespread redundancies in the airline companies as most aircrafts were grounded and companies were laying off their staff. The Hong Kong government has doled out bailout packages to support the airline companies but the prolonged ban on international travel made things worse.