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Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific must kow-tow to Beijing to survive

HONG KONG's Cathay Pacific Airways finds itself at odds with China's aviation authorities in Beijing's in the face of the continuing clampdown on Hong Kong's freedoms, which are constitutionally protected until 2047

Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific must kow-tow to Beijing to survive

HONG KONG's Cathay Pacific Airways finds itself at odds with China's aviation authorities in Beijing's in the face of the continuing clampdown on Hong Kong's freedoms, which are constitutionally protected until 2047

18 August 2019 - 19:00

HONG KONG's Cathay Pacific Airways finds itself at odds with China's aviation authorities in Beijing's in the face of the continuing clampdown on Hong Kong's freedoms, which are constitutionally protected until 2047.

Under pressure from China, Cathay reversed its position that it would not stop staff from joining the pro-democracy protests and has since fired four employees and suspended a fifth for their involvement in the protests.



This came after protesters closed Hong Kong International Airport for two days at the start of the week forcing it to cancel 272 flights, reported London's Financial Times.



Andrew Sullivan, director of investment company Pearl Bridge Partners, set out Cathay's dilemma, saying it had to 'kowtow to China in order to keep its operating licences to be able to fly into and over China. But it risks a backlash from consumers in Hong Kong'.



According to analyst estimates, up to 70 per cent of Cathay's passenger and cargo flights pass through China's airspace, and a large portion of travellers are mainland Chinese. Its principal shareholder is Swire Pacific, the Hong Kong-listed arm of the conglomerate Swire Group. Air China, Beijing's flag carrier, is its second-largest shareholder with a 29.9 per cent stake.


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