Cathay Pacific’s chairman is leaving after nearly 40 years at the airline

Sep 4, 2019

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It’s been a rough few weeks for Hong Kong and its flag carrier airline, Cathay Pacific.

First, CEO Rupert Hogg abruptly resigned last month, according to Reuters, as part of the fallout over the involvement of its Cathay’s employees in anti-government protests that have rocked the city.

Now the airline’s chairman, John Slosar, is also leaving, according to a statement from Cathay on Wednesday. Slosar will retire after the airline’s board meeting on November 6. He had been with Cathay for nearly 40 years.

“I would like to thank John for his tremendous contributions to the company over the past 39 years. Under his leadership as the Chief Executive Officer and then as Chairman, Cathay has built on its already enviable reputation for quality service and the extensive global network which underpins the success of Hong Kong as Asia’s largest international passenger hub. The three-year transformation programme now nearing completion leaves Cathay well-positioned for continued growth in the future,” the statement reads

The Board of Directors has appointed Patrick Healy, who comes from Swire Group, to succeed Slosar as Cathay’s chairman, according to the statement.

“Cathay Pacific has been Hong Kong’s home carrier for over seven decades. Despite current challenges, I am confident in the future of Hong Kong and Cathay Pacific will remain fully committed to this great city as Asia’s key aviation hub,” he said.

Violent protests between anti-government protesters and police have rocked the city and its airport. Demonstrators were protesting a law that would let the Hong Kong government extradite people to mainland China. Opponents say it would be used as a tool to hand political figures, foreigners and journalists over to Beijing’s control, as we reported last month. Hong Kong International Airport canceled all departing flights for two days in August after continued pro-democracy protests in its main terminal. On Wednesday, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam withdrew the extradition bill.

Cathay also took heat after vowing to fire employees who took part in the protests, saying it took a “zero tolerance” approach to the protesting. China ordered Cathay to ban all employees who took part in the demonstrations from flying to the mainland, according to Bloomberg.

Featured image courtesy of Ryan Patterson / The Points Guy

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