Cathay Pacific announced a HK$39 billion ($5 billion) government-led bailout plan on Tuesday as it battles a crippling downturn caused by the coronavirus.
Like many airlines hammered by the crisis, the Hong Kong carrier has seen passenger numbers all but evaporate in recent months leaving most of its fleet sitting on the tarmac and the company haemorrhaging cash.
The firm was already under pressure, after taking a hit from the impact of months of sometimes violent protests in Hong Kong last year that saw passenger numbers plunge.
On Tuesday the airline announced a sweeping proposal to inject liquidity and keep it afloat with the help of Hong Kong’s government.
“Cathay Pacific has explored available options and believes that a recapitalisation is required to ensure it has sufficient liquidity to weather this current crisis,” Cathay said in a statement to the city’s stock exchange.
The bulk of the new capital will come from new shares issued to Aviation 2020, a company owned by the Hong Kong government, as well as a HK$7.8 billion bridge loan from the government.
Under the proposal, it will raise about HK$11.7 billion in a rights issue on the basis of seven rights shares for every 11 existing shares held, while preference shares for the government would raise HK$19.5 billion and warrants would garner HK$1.95 billion, subject to adjustment.
The South China Morning Post reported that it is the first time Hong Kong’s government has directly injected money into a private company.
Share trading in Cathay Pacific — and its two biggest shareholders Air China and Swire — was suspended in Hong Kong on Tuesday morning ahead of the announcement. They will resume trading on Wednesday, Cathay said.
Swire, a Hong Kong and British conglomerate with colonial-era roots, has a 45 percent stake in Cathay while Air China owns 30 percent.
Hong Kong’s government will hold a news conference on Tuesday afternoon, followed by Cathay.
In its statement, Cathay said it also plans to implement a further round of executive pay cuts and a second voluntary unpaid leave initiative for employees.
Before the pandemic struck Cathay was one of Asia’s largest international airlines and the fifth largest air cargo carrier globally.
The virus has caused a collapse in passengers and while its cargo business has kept going Cathay has no domestic demand to fall back on, unlike many other big airlines.
It lost $580 million in the first four months of the year.
Cathay also found itself punished by Beijing last year when some of its 33,000 employees expressed support for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests.
Reporting and photos: AFP
Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI) holds its 34th Annual General Meeting
The Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI) held its 34th Annual General Meeting at Kurumba Maldives today, with a total of 100 members in attendance.
The day’s events began with a welcome address from the Chairman of MATI, Mr. Mohamed Umar, who also presided over the session. The agenda included an address from the Secretary General, Mr. Ahmed Nazeer, the review and approval of the minutes of the 33rd AGM, the review and adoption of the Annual Report and Financial Reports for 2023, the approval of the 2024 budget, the appointment of auditors for 2024, the welcoming of new members and election of executive board members to the two vacant positions (by-election).
In the member discussion session, the following topics were covered: the Government’s aim to reach net-zero emissions by 2023 and renewable energy generation in the Tourism Industry, new terminal of Velana International Airport and developments, employment challenges, the Industrial Relations Act and trade unions, environmental conservation and the significance of creating and executing efficient management plans for protected areas like the South Ari Marine Protected Area (SAMPA).
Following the official proceedings, the Minister of Tourism Hon. Ibrahim Faisal and the Minister of Economic Development and Trade Hon. Mohamed Saeed joined the forum. The Ministers provided remarks and engaged in a Member Q&A session. This session provided members with the chance to directly engage with the Ministers and delve into crucial industry topics. The queries focused on the Economic Outlook, forthcoming development plans and immediate challenges and issues affecting the Tourism Industry.
A video presentation was also showcased that delved into the extensive work undertaken by MATI in 2023. The video also touched upon the Tourism Industry’s performance over the past 5 years, as well as the current and projected human resource capacity of the sector.
In his closing remarks, the Secretary General highlighted the importance of collaborative efforts in addressing industry challenges and called for greater unison amongst industry stakeholders, ending with an acknowledgement of the promising start to the year in terms of arrivals.
Executive Board Members elected to the 2 vacant positions (by-election):
- Ibrahim Shareef, CEO and Managing Director of Maldives Airports Company Limited
- Renato De Olivera, General Manager of The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands and representative of Marriott International
Unlocking power of travel storytelling at Travel Creators Exchange 2024
Join us for the Travel Creators Exchange 2024, taking place on February 1, 2024, at the Hotel Jen in Male’, Maldives.
This dynamic event provides a platform for networking and collaboration among Maldives-based travel creators, fostering connections, idea-sharing, and the establishment of lasting partnerships to expand opportunities and monetise content.
Our lineup of distinguished speakers includes:
- Zihuny Rasheed, Deputy Managing Director of MMPRC, will present on “Power of Digital Storytelling: Collaborative Strategies for Destination Promotion.” MMPRC actively markets the Maldives globally, utilising a comprehensive approach that includes travel trade shows, roadshows, digital marketing, and more.
- Amjad Thaufeeg, Commercial Director of Kuda Villingili Maldives Resort, brings over 23 years of hospitality industry experience. He will discuss “The Role of Content in Tourism Marketing,” drawing on expertise in revenue, customer service, sales & marketing, and human capital development.
- Suresh Dissanayake, Assistant Vice President of Sales & Marketing of Heritance Aarah & Adaaran Resorts, with nearly two decades of experience, will shed light on “What does a Sales and Marketing Director Do?” He brings extensive luxury hospitality experience and a proven track record in sales, distribution, and marketing.
- Vishal Amir Ahmed, a versatile cinematographer and content creator, will explore “Who is a Content Creator.” Currently associated with Various Arts Studio, he specialises in providing multimedia solutions to various clients.
Organised by Maldives Insider, Maldives Virtual Tour, Travel Trade Maldives, and Hotelier Maldives, this collaborative effort aims to empower Maldives-based travel content creators and elevate the Maldives as a premier destination for captivating travel storytelling.
Acclaimed contemporary artist Ana Pušica explores perpetuality and community at Patina Maldives
Ana Pušica Kramer, an internationally acclaimed contemporary artist, joins Patina Maldives for an exclusive art residency in the now infamous Fari Art Atelier. From January 22 to February 22, 2024, Ana Pušica will grace the shores of the Fari Islands, weaving a vibrant narrative of colour and emotion across her larger than-life canvases.
Her artistry transcends boundaries, melding abstraction and figuration into awe-inspiring masterpieces. Having exhibited globally, from New York to Beijing, Ana’s paintings are a physical, intuitive act rooted in movement. Described as a “beautiful fluorescent thunderstorm,” Ana’s art explores light and colour, capturing the energy of life itself.
The Fari Art Atelier which has previously hosted the likes of Daniel Arsham, Chris Stamp and David Nott, will be transformed into Ana’s studio and gallery showcasing her enthralling artworks—a mesmerising journey through poetry, memory, and the vibrant interplay of colour. Guests at Patina are invited to delve into Ana’s world, where each stroke reveals layers of meaning, evoking sensations of intense lightness and boundless interpretation.
At Patina Maldives, Ana will immerse herself in a month-long residency, inviting the Patina Malidves community or guests and team to witness her artistic fervour firsthand. Guests will have the rare opportunity not only to observe her creative process but also to engage with and create art alongside this luminary.
Experience artistry at its most exclusive
Experience Ana’s captivating exploration of colour and emotion in her spellbinding artworks displayed at the Fari Atelier.
Art Workshops: Message in a Bottle
As part of a collaborative artwork, Ana invites Patina guests to participate in short workshops, actively contributing to the creation of a permanent installation at Patina Maldives.
Open Studio Session
Join Ana for an exclusive open studio session, offering guests a behind the-scenes look at her creative process.
Ana Pušica residency package
Discover a world where creativity knows no bounds as Ana Pušica, the maestro of contemporary art, transforms Patina Maldives into an immersive canvas of inspiration.
Book now to secure your experience.
For more information and reservations, please visit Patina Maldives or contact
Insiders6 days ago
Oaga Art Resort Appoints New Island Chief and Resort Manager
Celebration1 week ago
Experience Easter Bliss at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands: A Week of Renewal, Adventure, and Indulgence!
Entertainment1 week ago
CROSSROADS Maldives Opens Doors to a World of Discovery with Free Transfers and Unforgettable Experiences
News1 week ago
Xiamen Airlines Inaugurates Direct Flights from Fujian Province to Maldives
News1 week ago
Hurawalhi Island Resort Earns Coveted Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Rating for 2024
News1 week ago
Renowned Marine Conservationist Jean-Michel Cousteau Returns to The Ritz-Carlton Maldives for Exclusive Guest Experience
News7 days ago
Manta Air Launches Maiden International Flights Linking Dhaalu Atoll, Maldives and Bengaluru, India
Drink1 week ago
W Maldives and Perrier® Present a Three-Day Affair with Seoul’s Bar Cham in Maldives