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Hong Kong Airlines tells pilots to go to other Hainan carriers

HONG KONG Airlines has offered all its pilots secondments or permanent transfers to other HNA Group units, Hong Kong's South China Morning Post has reported

Hong Kong Airlines tells pilots to go to other Hainan carriers

HONG KONG Airlines has offered all its pilots secondments or permanent transfers to other HNA Group units, Hong Kong's South China Morning Post has reported

28 April 2019 - 19:00

HONG KONG Airlines has offered all its pilots secondments or permanent transfers to other HNA Group units, Hong Kong's South China Morning Post has reported.

Meanwhile, the fight for control of the airline continues with a mysterious company claiming a 34 per cent stake, reports Switzerland's ch-aviation.



The embattled carrier has offered its pilots to move to sister carriers Tianjin Airlines (GS, Tianjin), Hainan Airlines (HU, Haikou), and Hong Kong Air Cargo (RH, Hong Kong Int'l), as well as to HK Express (UO, Hong Kong Int'l), which is in the process of being acquired by Cathay Pacific (CX, Hong Kong Int'l).



Separately, Emirates (EK, Dubai Int'l) has also been recruiting pilots from Hong Kong Airlines. The carrier currently faces overstaffing after it failed to take delivery of four aircraft recently due to cash flow problems.



So far, over 50 pilots have left for other airlines. Meanwhile, the carrier's shareholders intensified their already heated dispute over control. On April 23, chairman Hou Wei and three other incumbent board members were served injunctions barring them from making extraordinary decisions or otherwise interfering in the business unless approved by Zhong Guosong who initiated a boardroom coup last week and also claims to be the chairman.



'The orders are temporary, pending further confirmation by the court and are subject to change. In any event, they do not affect the day-to-day operations of the airline. We continue to operate as normal and there are no changes to our management,' Hong Kong Airlines said.



However, just a day after new evidence emerged which cast further doubt over whether Mr Zhong's claims are legitimate. Documents surfaced which show that Frontier Investment Partner (FIP), a company used by Mr Zhong to back his chairmanship claim, sold its entire 34 per cent stake in Hong Kong Airlines to little known Hong Kong-based firm called Grand City Investment Capital on April 11, 2019, for HK$546.6 million (US$69.7 million).



As such, GCIC bought FIP's shares before the latter company was used by Zhong in the coup attempt. Mr Zhong controls around 27 per cent of Hong Kong Airlines shares and would lack the majority without FIP's help. GCIC subsequently strongly opposed Zhong's actions in a statement.


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