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Cathay Pacific suspends implementation of new swapping guidelines

17 Mar 2010

The following message was sent to Cathay Pacific cabin crew this morning from airline’s General Manager Inflight Services on the new swapping guidelines. The full text of the message is included below.

Cathay Pacific Corporate Communication Department

For media enquiries, please contact:

Thomas Lau, Corp Comm Assistant Mgr, Public Affairs, 2747-5360

Breaking News, March 17 2010

Dear Cabin Crew,

I appreciate all of the emails you have sent to us over the past two days, outlining your concerns with the swapping changes announced on Monday.

As a management team we are here to listen to you and have heard what you are saying. I just want to say that it was never our intention to limit your normal swapping practices over the 70 hour minimum, and I am sorry for the concerns and uncertainty it has created.

Our intention simply was to address the issue of an increasing number of cabin crew working below the minimum guarantee, some, as I have already mentioned, as little as 20 – 30 hours. We fully understand the importance of lifestyle issues to our crew, and we take these issues very seriously. We certainly did not want to create the stress and uncertainty that some of you clearly feel.

We have now decided that with immediate effect the implementation of the changes will be deferred indefinitely. We will, however, monitor swapping so that we can present you with a clear picture of what would have happened if the changes had been implemented.

We will report to you regularly to show what would happen to the swap approval rates if the new guidelines had been implemented. By doing this we hope to demonstrate the fears and concerns raised about the new guidelines were unfounded.

The points you have made over the past couple of days have raised many questions about the very nature of swapping. This will give us the opportunity to clear the air, and to provide more information and greater understanding about swapping in general.

In the meantime, let me repeat that the new guidelines were designed simply to close a loophole that had resulted in a growing number of crew swapping below the 70 hour minimum guarantee. We wanted to deal with this issue now before it became a much larger concern later on. At the same time, it offered us the opportunity to pave the way for our ultimate goal of unlimited swapping.

Please be assured that we will continue to engage you on this issue, and listen to what you have to say.

Charlie Stewart-Cox

General Manager Inflight Services

Cathay Pacific Airways