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Threatening to Sit Out the Crisis

Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways May Park All its Planes Starting in May.

(4/14/2003) A report carried by Reuters quoting an internal airline memo suggests that Cathay Pacific Airways is considering parking all its aircrafts starting in May unless a solution to the life-threatening SARS virus is found.

Asia's fourth largest air carrier, Cathay Pacific Airways is facing the single worst crisis to every confront international tourism. Travel cancellations and flight groundings have left the massive and usually busy Hong Kong International airport resembling a ghost town as people stay at home rather than risk infection.

Cathay Pacific is projecting passenger totals to fall below 6,000 per day, a figure 80% below their normal operating profile.

Cathay Pacific, without commenting specifically on the subject internal memo has officially denied that there are any plans to cease flight operations.

Official estimates ate that Cathay Pacific is losing approximately $3 million every day. The airline has cancelled 42% of its flights with remaining departures operating at levels between 30-35%.

The business downturn occasioned by the SARS scare caused the airlines to issue its first ever profit warning on Friday, April 11, 2003.