Ridiculous: Cathay Pacific CEO “Resigns” Suddenly

Filed Under: Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific has just announced some shocking senior management changes. Obviously a lot has been going on in Hong Kong. There have been protests for months, and these have increasingly impacted the airport and airline over the past couple of weeks.

Rupert Hogg resigns as Cathay Pacific CEO

The Cathay Pacific Board of Directors has today announced that they’ve accepted the resignation of two senior executives:

Hogg said the following regarding his resignation:

“It has been my honour to lead the Cathay Pacific Group over the last three years. I am confident in the future of Hong Kong as the key aviation hub in Asia. However, these have been challenging weeks for the airline and it is right that Paul and I take responsibility as leaders of the company.”

As you can see, he says that it has been a challenging few weeks for the company, and that it’s “right” that he “takes responsibility” for this. So this isn’t a resignation based on spending more time with his family or whatever reason executives otherwise want to give, but rather very clearly is a response to what has been going on.

Here’s what Cathay Pacific’s Chairman, John Slosar, said about these resignations:

“Rupert Hogg and his team executed the three-year Transformation Programme which has been important to Cathay Pacific’s recovery and provides a strong platform for continued development. However, recent events have called into question Cathay Pacific’s commitment to flight safety and security and put our reputation and brand under pressure. This is regrettable as we have always made safety and security our highest priority. We therefore think it is time to put a new management team in place who can reset confidence and lead the airline to new heights. Cathay Pacific is fully committed to Hong Kong under the principle of ‘One Country Two Systems’ as enshrined in the Basic Law.”

Cathay Pacific’s new executive appointments

Cathay Pacific has already appointed replacements:

  • Augustus Tang has been appointed CEO; he is currently the CEO of aircraft maintenance and engineering company HAECO, which has the same parent company as Cathay Pacific
  • Ronald Lam has been appoint Chief Customer & Commercial Officer; he was recently appointed CEO of HK Express, which Cathay Pacific acquired

What did Cathay Pacific executives really do wrong?

With protests in Hong Kong escalating, we’ve seen Hong Kong’s airport and largest airline increasingly be involved here.

For one, Hong Kong Airport closed a couple of times due to the number of protestors, bringing the airport to a standstill.

More specific to Cathay Pacific, the Chinese government has accused Cathay Pacific employees of participating in “illegal protests,” and requested that the airline start sharing all information about employees not only flying to China, but also passing through Chinese airspace.

The airline ended up firing a few employees who participated in protests.

As far as I’m concerned here, Cathay Pacific has done absolutely nothing wrong, and has balanced their interests best they can. They’re truly stuck between a rock and a hard place, and didn’t have much of a choice:

  • I believe fundamentally the company shares the sentiments of those who are protesting; obviously not the entire company, but at least a majority of the employees and much of the management
  • At the same time, defying China couldn’t possibly end well for them, given that China doesn’t exactly cave easily

So now you have this absolute mess of a situation. Cathay Pacific is putting a new management team in place to “reset confidence” after “Cathay Pacific’s commitment to flight safety and security” has been called into question.

  1. Free companies in a government controlled country will never exist.

    Never. But that is a feature, not a bug for those wanting more and bigger government.

  2. @jz how exactly have these 2 gents caused damage to the company and shareholders? To me they seem victims of this political mess, hardly seems their fault…?

  3. @ jz — What damage exactly did he cause, and how could he have prevented it? As far as I’m concerned they’ve done the best they can to balance the various interests, which is an impossible task.

  4. So you are OK with Cathay firing employees who participated in non-violent protests of China’s communist government?

  5. Fire the management team that has literally turned CX around into a profitable company—because of protests out of their control? Ridiculous is putting it lightly.

    Meanwhile, AA shareholders (and customers) continue to put up with Parker.

  6. @ Rjb — You’re asking me that? Are you suggesting that the reason the two executives were fired was because they fired employees participating in protests? If so, I think you have it exactly backwards.

  7. @ MiltonF

    You’re so right, who needs regulation when dynamic entrepreneurial companies like Boeing can “self certify” the airworthiness of their 737 death jets?

    Government (like taxation) is just a pointless burden that holds back everyone from achieving greatness. Oh, if only Ayn Rand could have taken over the universe.

    (Etc, etc, ad nauseam).

    I’m with Ben. Cathay was in a bit of a no-win situation here.

  8. If one can’t read the political scene like HKG is in, he can’t be the right person for CEO. CX had a few chances to respond proactively, yet they refused. The CX management only acted when they are forced to do so, being the mainland authority started to ask them for the crews list, or the protesters stopped HKIA, they could have done better.

    look, i am not here to say if that is morally or politcally correct, yet being a public company the only right thing is to be responsible to the shareholders, nothing else.

  9. @ jz — I’m curious what you think that involves, though? Should they have sought out every single employee who participated in these “illegal protests” and fired them? Or what does “responding proactively” look like? I don’t think it’s a lack of being able to “read the political scene,” but rather this being a situation where you simply can’t win.

  10. @jz So the private company should have proactively turned over their employee list to the Chinese government. Remember, part of the “deal” was “Two Systems, One Country.” Cathay is the carrier of the part that was ostensibly democratic. It is, of course, as much of a lie as the rest of the Chinese machine, but that was theoretically the deal.

  11. @lucky I am not sure if you are just ignoring that they fired a few pilots / crew recently. That is a classic example that they acted too late. It should be done a lot earlier, willingly or not. Don’t try to be silly like: fire everyone. They could have liaise with the union maybe?
    Again, the CX management kept their mouth shut for the entire time, until it is too late. Why they can’t at least “pretend” to clam the situation is beyond me. To me the management was sliently encouraging it.
    Politicans shit talk all the time, CEOs are the same, Dennis Muilenburg, Doug Parker, just to name a few. When you are stuck between a rock and a hard place like the former CX CEO, he had to do something, yet he clearly didn’t manage the situation properly.

  12. In the grand scheme of things, this is the perfectly logical next step for China to take. China has been noticeably not even trying to calm down the situation in HK, because it wants to run HK into the ground. HK’s economy relies on its stability (since its main focus is on Finance and Trade), with the chaos going on for this long, many businesses are already re-considering their future plans in HK. Destroying the pride and joy of HK (Cathay) and the best way in and out the market, is the obvious next step. Once the businesses leave, HK will lose any bargaining chips they might have left; and the the cities around HK, such as Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Guangzhou, even Xiamen, will welcome them with open arms and lots of grand promises. China wins no matter how this gets resolved.

  13. Reading between the line….My guess is they fell on the sword in order for the company to maintain some position in the pecking order with Beijing.

  14. As a local Hong Konger, I believe Hogg was forced to resign as there was a growing fear within the company with its employees over the situation of participating the protests and whether they may get saccked if they protest…

  15. A view from Hong Kong.

    Rupert Hogg and Paul Loo are just sacrifice to the Chinese government. John Slosar said that Cathay Pacific respects staff taking part in the protests. This has triggered all the response from China. Coupled with the fact that there is a Cathay Pacific pilot now being charged for rioting, such statement would be considered inappropriate from the Chinese view.


    The Civil Aviation Administration for China forbids all Cathay Pacific personnel who “supports or participates” in the protests to “participate in any civil aviation activities” in China, citing “zero tolerance on security”. There is simply no way Cathay can ensure compliance and is indeed a situation where Cathay cannot win. There have been reports that large Chinese corporations are no longer allowing their employees to reimburse their travel expenses spent on Cathay.

    People in Hong Kong won’t be too surprised to see Swire selling its shares in Cathay to somebody in China in the near future. Some say this is the real motive behind all the attacks on Cathay. Only time will tell…

  16. Agree with those saying Hogg and Loo were just a sacrifice to Beijing. Simply put, Cathay as a Hong Kong company and a symbol of the city took a morally laudable but very risky position when they allowed their employees to join the protests early on, and seemed to tacitly encourage it even.

    They now have egg on their face since The protests turned violent – especially after all the violence at the airport on Tuesday. In a practical sense it looks like they backed the wrong horse here, and someone had to go. China now wants its pound of flesh.

    I am not sure they could have avoided this situation given a lot of the employees support the protests – but so much of their traffic comes from mainland China. Staying totally silent would have been the safest course by Ben that would probably not have protected them from Beijing’s wrath.

  17. *but even that would probably not have protected them from Beijing’s wrath, that was meant to read.

  18. Getting rid of a guy who’s been with Swire since 1986 and who likely supports stuff like freedom of speech and due process … Ya know, safety concerns.

  19. The position of the management was simply not acceptable with the shareholders as simply as that.

    Swire have already pledged their “allegiance” to the Mainland and the other major shareholders are Air China und Qatar Airways…

  20. @BCKS
    I think you are absolutely correct! When the cross-shareholding between Air China and Cathay Pacific was arranged a number of years ago, the purpose is to appease Beijing for having Swire Group (a non-Chinese government control entity, and a “western” entity in the eyes of China) controlling Cathay Pacific. I also want to point out that it is not a coincident that the CEO resigning is white and the replacement is ethnic Chinese. This is all about appeasing China.

    As a Cathay Pacific shareholder myself, I understand the move; however, I was a bit surprise by the resignations by two gentlemen who have done a pretty good job turning around CX in the past three years. I feel sorry that things have to come down to this. It is truly a sad day for freedom!

  21. @tnp

    Are you implying that aircraft certification has no government regulation? Silly boy. Government regulators get captured by industry and that is the result.

    But if hyperbole is your choice to communicate then I suppose the correct reply to you is – move to Cuba.

    Of course Cathay was in a tough spot, because the Chinese government told them to change. Duh

  22. Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank (which deliberately disguises its name as “HSBC”) saw the writing on the wall decades ago and moved its HQ to London.

    Cathay has the misfortune to be a business that can’t easily do that.

    China is a different world. Napoleon has the right idea.

  23. Biased comment.
    Putting a pilot who joined voilent protest on duty is not “absolutely nothing wrong”. IT IS VERY WRONG.

  24. Question is, are Augustus Tang and Ronald Lam Chinese (PRC) stooges?

    It’s honorable that Rupert Hogg and Paul Loo have resigned, rather than be co-opted by the CCP through the CAA.

  25. Finally the CPC has done with no one has managed to do before which is have incompetent CX management fired. Was anyone sacked over the fuel hedging which was the reason for the poor financial performance?

    My only regret is they didn’t get rid of Slosar who is a complete muppet. And for the record I have met him a number of times so I speak from personal experience. But Slosar can’t be fired because he is the ultimate Swire lifer (Swire being a firm that promotes people based on long service rather than ability).

    It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that CX should have suspended the pilot that was arrested and kept quiet about what was going on. Slosar put his foot in it and Rupert and Paul paid the price. Unfortunately rather than bring in new blood they’ve hired another couple of lifers.

    And for those who wish to take issue with what I’ve said the appointment of Ronald Lam (who has zero experience in running a budget airline to HK Express) proves CX values length of service over ability.

  26. Ben, you left out two things,

    1. Cathay did absolutely nothing to control their employees who have been officially charged by the police for the violent conduct
    2. Some Cathay employees leaked flight/passenger details of HK police, called for violence against these officers and encourage staff to proactively causing difficulties during their journey.

    If this is the right conduct of an international company, then I’d say all company should rid of their conduct risk department immediately as it is clearly useless and not fit for purpose.

  27. Beijing is no fan of Cathay ( and certainly not of Swire), shareholding notwithstanding. For 30 years they restricted Cathay flights into China, forcing them to use Dragon Air ( and then with only limited rights in order to keep the mainland airlines afloat).
    Maybe Swire was made an offer it couldn’t refuse in respect of Hogg and Loo ( quite likely in my opinion)
    This post reminded me of the struggles of Cathay over the years, and a great book on the history of the airline ( “Beyond Lion Rock; the Story of Cathay Pacific”, by (the late) Gavin Young. Pub 1988 and long out of print, but worth picking up a copy in a second hand bookstore.

  28. It is not easy to run a company when the country is led by a dictator. Just ask Amazon, google, twitter.

  29. @ Ben (Lucky)
    Being a white American you might have experienced differently. But many Chinese reported that they’re being discriminated based on their passports and language spoken. Protesting outside of work is another thing, but bringing that emotion into work is completely unprofessional. Mainlander passengers have been feeling unsafe flying with crew who hates them.

  30. Cathay and Hong Kong this time, Australia and New Zealand next (See how mainlanders push against Hong Kongers in Melbourne and how NZ universities cave to China.) And then Europe, cave in faster than Islam.
    US and European governments are no less hypocrites, but China will let you know what is total shameless. We won’t recognize the world if Trump and Xi are kept unleashed for next few years

  31. Apparently the the Party spokesholes knew about this news before the rest of Hong Kong and Cathay themselves did. Somehow I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

  32. @ TW
    Unlike Beijing, Hong Kong has a functioning legal system, including a presumption of innocence. It is not a straightforward matter to fire someone in HK until due process has been followed.
    In respect of the arrested pilot, he was suspended after being charged. Others have admitted to unlawful acts and WERE terminated.
    This is not China. Laws are followed, natural justice applies.
    Cathay was walking a tightrope; a couple of execs have just been shoved off it.

  33. @Paolo

    Really??! China has not functioning legal system?! What planet do you live on?!

    Re. Pilot he was NOT suspended until pressured. You can’t just make up facts to suit your agenda.

  34. Ben

    Your comment is really ridiculous here, and I do see double standard right here

    You posted about the 12 hour no drinking policy from United, and your support of that is between lines.

    Here you stand against Chinese government (as always, we all know you) “requested that the airline start sharing all information about employees not only flying to China, but also passing through Chinese airspace.”

    So which comes first, democracy or safety?

    If United could worry about safety issue resulted from a drunk pilot, why would not Chinese people worry about their safety resulted from a pilot/crew with a violent tendency. Chinese people do not want a 911. (Maybe you like it)

  35. … And we will have new Nazis like H XU.
    (Those offenders are rightfully let go immediately. Stop trying to be such a jerk.

  36. And why would anyone support China? It is not a freely elected government, not in any sense. The people suggesting otherwise are wrong.
    “The Communist party has the complete political authority”

    Geez, there isn’t any room to argue this one.

  37. Is this really a surprise, given Cathay’s non-exec directors and its infamous major investors, who have significant ties to the PRC?

  38. They are not a jerk if they don’t share the same value with you. Learn to respect first, and stop being a jerk by offending others.

  39. You don’t need to believe the other people beleives. What a shame that those “democracy fighters” don’t even know how to respect others.

  40. I think most people are being too simplistic in thinking that to resist the Chinese government must mean to support the protesters.
    Well, many of the same people do not support Trump, but would (or should) you support violence against him/his administration?

  41. @TW
    Yes, you’re correct: China has a legal system, but MALFUNCTIONING ( at least from the perspective of most of the rest of the planet). Perhaps next you’ll tell us that the 99.99999% conviction rate is due to the outstanding work of police and prosecutors.
    This ham-fisted lunacy from Carrie Lam over the extradition law has led to the current situation ( and given that she is merely a puppet, it’s directly attributable to a fundamental misreading of the mood in HK by those in Beijing). They would be well-advised to back off and let things calm down.
    I can now appreciate more fully why so many Hong Kongers moved to Canada, Australia and the UK in the lead up to 1997 ( and I’ll bet they haven’t regretted it).
    The kids protesting should not be punished for fighting for their rights.

  42. Ridiculous – absolutely, as one of cx group subsidiaries employee, it is very sad news to hear at the end of the day.

  43. Perhaps not directly related to the recent protest, but there is a concensus that if you come from mainland China and don’t speak English, you are generally treated as second class citizens on CX/KA flights. I don’t want to call it racism but it is a systematic phenomenon has persisted for years. And the management did not care enough to address it since CX/KA dominate all major routes between HK and mainland China. No surprise an overwhelming majority of mainland Chinese think it is well deserved when they saw CAAC dropping the hammer on CX.

  44. This is completely wrong. I never lost confidence in them or in CX as an airline. The Swire board should be ashamed of this decision.

    On the other hand, I have lost confidence in the ability of the leaders in Beijing to govern and not make a total fucking mess. In that sense,

  45. Guys, if you say something liberals don’t like, your comment will be deleted!
    BTW, those protesters were removed from departure lobby because they “attacked” passengers trying to enter security check points to leave Hong Kong.
    Many passengers can barely enter security points and missed their flights which were not cancelled.
    That’s why authority can get Court restriction to remove them from departure lobby.
    It’s all been captured on video and can be watched online.
    Liberals not only ignore the facts but also try to cover the truth.

  46. “As far as I’m concerned here, Cathay Pacific has done absolutely nothing wrong, and has balanced their interests best they can.” The government controlled media in the mainland has been attacking CX for awhile now. Arguments can be made that he should have shutdown employees protesting at the airport when the Cathay Pacific Airways Flight Attendants Union called for joining the extradition protest at the airport. When things went sideways at the airport and it had to be shutdown there were many passengers complaining about no airline employees being around to assist them. If that happened with CX flights as well then any sort of lack of communication with customers in that situation would be unacceptable. CX employees also being arrested didn’t help and maybe they felt that the airline should have been more proactive in avoiding staff becoming embroiled in this conflict instead of angering people on all sides at the airline. The situation was not handled well by any means.

  47. Perhaps not directly related to the protest, there is a consensus that if you are from mainland China and don’t speak English, you are likely to be treated as a second class citizen on KA/CX flights. I don’t want to call it racism but it is a systematic phenomenon that has persisted for years but the management chose to do nothing about it since the airline dominated all major routes between HK to mainland China with its abundant slot allocations. No surprise an overwhelming majority of Chinese citizens think it is well deserved when CAAC dropped the hammer on CX.

  48. It’s a shame that AA can’t get rid of Fat F_ _ _ Doug Parker as easily as Cathay got rid of these 2 gentlemen.

  49. On a slightly self-serving note: how (un)advisable is it for me to cash in some AsiaMiles for a CX flight in January considering the unrest / carrier instability?

  50. I don’t think Hogg and Loo are the sacrifice to Beijing. As the top managers, they simply did a couple of things wrong, did not respond quickly and well enough to lead a public company in a crisis.

    1. When one pilot was charged for violent actions, Cathy did not respond at all about whether the pilot would be immediately suspended or removed from any active duty even it has been constantly asked by some customers for such a question. As a passenger, I don’t feel quite comfortable about that, knowing one pilot having violent/radical tendency and was not publicly denied for any on air duty. It gave me the impression that Cathy did not do enough to monitor their crew members’ emotional/physical conditions, which are crucial to flight safety. Think about Germanwings tragedy. It’s not about privacy. It’s about whether the company really adheres to the highest safety standard it always claims to have. Then this was caught by Beijing to give high risk warning to Cathy.

    2. People surely can use their off-duty time to express their wills but the chairman’s speech at the H1 earning press conference gave the employees wrong hint that they could use Cathay as a backup to express wills. The chairman only emphasized that the company could not manipulate people’s minds but he did not remind his employees, whether in public conference or internal communication, of that Cathy should not be linked by employees with any political movement. This is dangerous for any business, as compliance normally is one of the top risks. Customers are paid to have services and someone, like me, do not want to hear anything besides weather condition/flight information during the cabin announcement. But Cathy’s pilot use this channel to broadcast the protest information and not until the step in of Chinese regulators, Cathy did not say anything about it.

    3. Mainland customers are fed up with Cathy’s arrogant flight attendants who treat mandarin speaking customers probably the worst. Through this crisis, a lot of customers’ rencountering of bad experience (discrimination) with Cathy appeared online, before the state-owned media targeted at Cathy.

    Cathy’s new management has a lot of do, fix the relationship with Beijing, restore the brand image among its important mainland customers, improves its services (can not compare with Singapore/ANA in my perspective)

  51. Stay in your business. You have no idea about corporate finance and stop making comments on these. On the safety side, do you still remember you call lots of countries ridiculous for banning MAX before FAA?

  52. Personally I’m waiting for the C and F class fire sales that will inevitably result if things continue to go in the same direction.

  53. I actually don’t think this is a forced resignation. They probably had it with CX.

    They probably clashed with Slosar/Swire who are (secretly) trying keep positive relationship with Beijing. So they just had it with Slosar and call quits. Remember CZ is just up their throats, if anyone can tip the scale, it’s Beijing. Not good for CX to fall out of favor.

    Lucky for them they don’t have to deal with the aftermath. CX and Hong Kong will face tough challenges for years. Just look at TG after protesters closed BKK.

  54. Gosh I am not reading this white as*’S blog anymore. Put the goddamn countries out of the context. Read wtf happened.
    Get on a bus driven by a racist and smile like nothing will happen. Shame on you

  55. This is terrible. I can see this causing CX to topple back into the pit it was just climbing out of…

  56. Solar says the new management have been brought in to address safety issues. May want to steer clear of CX until they have had time to address them.
    When the Chairman states his airline is unsafe you know they have serious problems.

  57. Cathay Pacific cabin crews are famous for treating Mandarin-speaking passengers from Mainland China differently from the rest of the passengers, even in the business class. Mandarin-speaking passengers from Mainland China are systematically discriminated against by the CX crew in the passing few years. Sometimes, I feel that in the CX corporate culture, the racism against Mainland Chinese is politically correct. I was not surprised after what happened in the passing few weeks, CX has been labeled as an anti-China carrier in the Chinese social media. It is the responsibility that the CEO and Chief Customer & Commercial Officer of CX to take.

  58. @Mark

    I wouldn’t go think they have issues with their planes. CX is professional enough to maintain their planes.

    I think their safety and security issue is JOB safety, as how to hang on to the chair longer.
    So it’s the chairman’s job that is unsafe, not the airline. Keeping his job is a serious issue. LOL

  59. Good morning from Hong Kong. The simple fact is that we don’t yet know the reasons for these resignations, which is proving to be fertile ground for all sorts of conspiracy theories like the ones some people have floated here.

    My humble view is that it may simply be tense times leading to a mix of heated management debate, the need to show decisive action, and quite possibly overreaction.

    Swire selling or reducing its stake in CX will be the true sign of a big change. Let’s see.

  60. The situation is far more complex than most comments here indicate. Anywhere else in the world, senior management are not forced to resign because of these types of actions by employees of a company . In countries where the government doesn’t control the media, company management waits for the outcome of legal proceedings before deciding to terminate the employees unless the employee actions posed a immediate safety issue in connection with the operation of aircraft (feelings by passengers are not enough).

    It is clear that Beijing forced them to resign for purely political reasons as there is zero evidence that aircraft operational safety was compromised in any way by the employees’ participation in any legal or illegal protests.

    I have no doubt that mainland Chinese were made to feel inferior by CX staff. This has been the case for more than 30 years, in my experience living there, not just on CX, but in most parts of HK, where the general attitude was of a great superiority of HK “natives” over mainland “ cousins.”

    Protesters have gone further than they ever planned. They don’t know how to how to stop. The worldwide (ex PRC) support they have received has unfortunately allowed the more violent among them to dominate the protests. Many psychological studies show that the majority will find it impossible to make the instigators stop or even stop themselves. Power is very seductive.

    The current protests occurred because Beijing miscalculated by cracking down on the Umbrella protests and properly elected HK legislators which only encouraged young people’s pro-independence dreams. Today’s protests would never have happened if pro-democracy demonstrators/legislators had not been banned after those demonstrations. Most demonstrators are far too young to have any memory of the discriminatory undemocratic rule that applied to ethnic Chinese in HK before the handover ( when parks often had signs saying “ Dogs and Chinese prohibited.“ ) Everything will quiet down when school/university restarts in September. But they will be back next summer unless tone-deaf Carrie Lam resigns. Beijing has had a disastrous record of choosing Chief Executives in HK, starting with the first one in 1997. Maybe it’s time Beijing respected the true spirit of the Basic Law agreed with the UK and let HK people decide. Otherwise, one country, two systems is a meaningless joke (which Beijing’s ultimate goal, Taiwan, will never willingly accept). Mainland folks also need to understand that many of these HK people do not “feel “ Chinese. Many of their families fled to HK to escape the Communist Party in the years before the deaths of 20-30 million Chinese during the Great Leap Forward (completely overlooked in most PRC schools’ discussion of Chinese history).

    To all sides: don’t believe everything you read. Question everything.

  61. I care not about Cathay Pacific. However, the situation is very destabilizing for businesses, including mine, which depend on Hong Kong for capital exchange with Chinese firms.

  62. All these “Lams”. smh!

    @zt03 – These western companies will just go to Singapore. China is already a difficult country to do business in, and well most are just washing their hands of China and can afford to operate elsewhere.

  63. CX does not discriminate against Mandarin-speaking customers; if that were true, CX would not be such a loved brand in Taiwan (to the extent that a lot of Taiwanese erroneously believe that CX is a Taiwanese carrier). Chinese passengers who feel “discriminated” against by CX cabin crew simply don’t like the fact that CX is a properly managed, world class airline where passengers have to queue to board in an orderly manner and the crew insist on compliance with basic norms of etiquette, safety rules (e.g. not accessing overhead baggage during take off and landing) and consideration for the others around you. But if Chinese passengers hate flying CX so much they’re always free to choose other airlines and ensure a more pleasant flying experience for the rest of CX’s civilised customer base.

  64. @ Oliver
    The language you use can hardly be seen as civilized or enlightened. It suggests to me that you are no more classy than the passengers you belittle.

    It is also funny how you define a world-class airline as one “where passengers have to queue to board in an orderly manner and the crew insist on compliance with basic norms of etiquette, safety rules.” Are you describing a police force or an airline? Do you evaluate a product based on its quality or its customers?

    If, as you suggest, Chinese passengers’ stopping flying CX would “ensure a more pleasant flying experience for the rest of CX’s civilised customer base.”, Surely a private company like CX can also choose to exit the Chinese market, right?

  65. Many of you do not understand the politics , but read @Yukon, he knows what it is all about .
    Here is my view after working in Hong Kong for 23 years and travelling in twice a year for the last 20 years and with a HK born wife.
    Cathay Pacific is owned 30% by Air China and 48% by Swires – a large UK conglomerate with many other business interests in China .
    China is unhappy with the way some Cathay employees became anti China so they started to put pressure on Cathay and its management .
    There are also old problems going back some years .
    Hogg is around 55 years old , so he will receive a nice Swire pension and probably an informal advisory position with another Swire company which has no business with China . He is the fall guy. Sad but probabaly a win win for China and Cathay .

  66. As early as Oct 2018, Wang Qishan told GF and me in Israel that Hogg’s days were numbered.

    End of June this year, Liu He reiterated similar sentiments to us in Osaka.

    Looks like they were just waiting for the most propitious time, and it has just arrived.

    BTW, Carrie Lam is kaput. They are really just waiting for the most propitious time – history sometimes does repeat itself.

  67. I’m not sure I understand what “illegal protests” are. Does that mean protest that were not permitted by the Hong Kong Police or not wanted by the Mainland? In most protests/marches actual participants do not know the permit parameters. What streets are ok and which are not. You can be in a legal protest Marche that takes an illegal turn. Are you now illegal?

    Did CX provide their employees with due process? Was there prior warning of discipline for engaging in so-called illegal protests? If there is a loyalty to the shareholders to be protected, what about a loyalty to the employees? Should any public company allow a country to dictate its employment policies as long as they are within the law of the country the activity is taking place?

    I am on the mainland as I write this and for the past three weeks the censors have blacked out all protests other than those that become violent and those which are pro-mainland. Nothing is shown of the huge peaceful protests.

    Today there was a Hong Kong teachers march. All reporting of it was blacked out. However, for days they’ve allowed the PLA (Army) to be shown at the Shenzen Stadium (as a threat or show of force?). Typically all army maneuvers are censored unless they are part of the governments propaganda efforts.

  68. @Yukon

    I just wish more dumb kids like @Aaron gets to read and learn a bit more. Or people like @BiilC to understand politics and stop trying to force democracy everywhere. Hey democracy got USA Donald Trump, and got Boris Johnson for UK. Seeing how radicalized these kids are, I don’t think school would stop them from protesting.
    Beijing is just steps away of justifying the use their own version of riot control, not the HK police way. And I’ll bet only UK and Taiwan will come out to condemn China, the rest of the world will support stability but will not call out Beijing. They will call for peace talks between protesters and China without pointing fingers.
    They have to remember HK police are still their brothers and sisters and won’t go ballistics. The PLA are not, and they won’t show mercy.

  69. @T W
    Oliver points out that it’s not even language, let alone “race”.
    It is behaviour/culture.
    Amongst those who have grown up, or whose parents grew up, completely under aggressive totalitarian regimes, a higher proportion do have a very aggressive approach to employees providing services.
    The employees who work for globally-minded airlines are mandated to push back on matters regarding safety.

  70. My wife was tear gassed in the MTR on her way back from a hike.
    She could easily have been arrested and yes she sympathize with the protesters and she is also participating in the peaceful marches.
    However, if she was arrested it could have had consequences for her job security.
    It is simply not fair.

  71. BCKS and Yukon are right on. This is very bad news for CX employees, but I wouldn’t say this is ridiculous or surprising at all (though it would be in America) — it’s business as usual in China.

    a) This is how things work on the mainland — senior official steps down and claims responsibility (scapegoat), then things continue pretty much as before.

    b) From China’s perspective, Cathay is arguably the most globally prominent legacy of colonialism in HK. I’m sure they want it to be more Chinese, less British. I imagine that CX made other concessions as well, behind closed doors, and we’ll see their effect soon — this is just the big symbolic one.

    c) This is kind of a win-win for everyone who was at the negotiating table (though not for CX employees or your average Hong Kong person). Hogg will get a nice pension — or a senior job in another Swire company. China gets a “win,” and will likely ease the new regulatory restrictions on CX — and Hogg’s resignation allows them to do that and save face. It’s a win for Swire, too – their investment in CX is protected. They may have agreed to start unraveling it (as someone predicted above), which we might see in the next year or two — or not — but even if that’s the case, their capital is protected.

    Ultimately, it’s good deal for everyone in power, and bad for everyone else (especially CX employees). 🙁

  72. @Petrix

    “It is simply not fair.” Really? There are a lot of other things in life or politics that is not fair. Your wife’s care is very fair. She had a choice.
    A. she sympathize with the protesters from distance and care about her job security.
    B. she is also participating and risk her job security.

    “My wife was tear gassed in the MTR on her way back from a hike.”
    Did she went to hike at Tai Mo Shan or went to “hike” at Chek Lap Kok? Again, she had a choice.
    A. hike at Tai Mo Shan and care about her job security.
    B. “hike” at Chek Lap Kok and risk her job security.

    If you play with fire, you will get burned. Play at your own risk.

  73. @Lucky

    This is a prime example of the way in which communist China reacts under 1 country, 2 systems. Their vindictiveness knows no bounds. They demand obedience and will use legal / regulatory means to ensure compliance. The whole reason we have this political crisis comes from China trying to use HK’s legal system as an extension of state control. This approach may work well with the slave culture on the Mainland but we will fight to our last breath to make sure it doesn’t happen here in HK.

  74. It is really amusing to read comments from simplistic minds who only believes freedom and democracy.

    Well, I just hope the poor HK protestors don’t get the same level of support from the western powers, like their peers in the Arab Springs…

  75. There is a big difference between legal protests and illegal protests. In most countries, protests are only legal if they meet certain conditions (e.g. peaceful, do not obstruct traffic, take place in authorised areas etc). Some of the HK protests are peaceful, but there are also a number which are violent.

    There have been many verified reports of protesters throwing bricks, corrosive acid, and even petrol bombs at the police. Some protesters are setting fires outside police stations and breaking windows of police cars. Most recently, protesters attacked 2 mainland Chinese nationals at the airport who didn’t even have anything to do with the protests. In response, the police use tear gas, rubber bullets (which are used by riot police worldwide).

    These violence by protesters/rioters are grossly underreported by the media, with the headlines almost always focussing on the police. Here are some of the few English articles talking about it, but there are also lots of videos where you can see for yourself if you search on Google
    (See: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/breaking-hong-kong-protests-undercover-18927233

    These VIOLENT protests (more like riots) are illegal in ANY country. Illegal protests are breaking the law, and would warrant police intervention in ANY country. Earlier this year, the UK police arrested over 300 PEACEFUL climate change protesters for blocking roads. The HK government response is actually quite muted in comparison to the UK one.
    (See: https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-47945397)

  76. WOW. I didn’t know the Chinese 50 cent gang (look it up) fake news team covers international air travel forums too. Keep up the good work guys; can’t wait to see how you can fool the rest of the world. News for you: not everybody lives within the firewall and are exposed to purely Beijing propaganda.

  77. It is my understanding that Sunday’s huge and peaceful Hong Kong rally was legal but became illegal when they began to march. So I guess anyone who moved from the immediate area deemed legal for protests became illegal. So based upon Beijing’s definition of illegal protests, all 1.4 million people, broke the law and should be prosecuted.

  78. Before you call someone fake news, maybe you should do your research and actually look at the videos and see for yourself the violence by the protesters. If you read many of the english articles thoroughly, you can also see the 1 or 2 lines they mention about protester violence, but they obviously do not want to focus on it. For example, most of the english media confirm the protesters beating 2 Chinese citizens at the airport, but simply chose not to put it in their headlines. Google it yourself and click on BBC, CNN or whatever

    It is pretty obvious that protestors throwing bricks and petrol bombs should be illegal. If the protests moved outside the designated area and started blocking traffic, then my understanding is that would become illegal. No different from UK protest laws actually

  79. Is this because PRC didn’t support gay marriage?

    Not the CEO’s resignation, but the way this article was written.

  80. Terry – I’ve been on the mainland for a month watching what news is and is not censored by the authorities. The airport scenes as well as other violent scenes, PLA in Shenzhen and pro-mainland protests were shown repeatedly on mainland CCTV CNA, CNN and BBC.

    The huge peaceful protests and balanced coverage of the protests has been censored.

    Of course, I can’t get any of the credible major newspapers like the NY Times, Washington Post or others and Google is completely censored. Most of the news you get on Yahoo is just Hollywood style click bait. Searches for what’s really happening is censored.

    If Beijing is so certain of their just cause why are they afraid to show it? Hard handed propaganda might work on the mainland but I think it may backfire outside.

  81. @TheTruthIs – we could also ask: If the mainstream media are so certain of the protestors’ just cause, then why are they afraid to showcase the violence by the protestors?

    I do not support censoring either, and I support democracy through PEACEFUL means. However most of what is being reported in the mainstream media is very 1-sided. Mainstream media constantly focus on “peaceful protestors” and criticize police for using standard crowd control tactics such as tear gas & rubber pellets.

    However, if you watch some of the HK LOCAL news you will see that protestors are throwing bricks, corrosive acid, and petrol bombs at police, attacking police stations, throwing metal barricades on the highway, and attacking Chinese citizens at the airport. One of the Chinese citizens had a “I love HK police” T-shirt. The protestors beat him up, tied him up, and even blocked ambulance access to him. How can these people claim to be pro-democracy if they do not even understand what freedom of speech is?

    If you want to verify that this is not fake news, you can actually read about this on the NY times, NBC etc. However, you will have to know about these things and search for it yourself. The mainstream media will never write a headline saying “Protestors attack Chinese citizens”.
    The mainstream headlines never mention protestor violence. This is why most of the western world thinks the protestors are peaceful and the police are brutal.

    One BBC video showed a HK policeman pointing his gun at the mob, while not showing the video of him being attacked by the mob beforehand, and took out his gun containing rubber pellets as self defence. Why did they not show the first part of the video? What would a UK or US policeman do in this situation? I think they would do the same if not worse! After all, how many times in the US do we hear about police firing actual bullets at innocent people?

    There are 2 sides to this story. Maybe only 1 side is being shown in the mainland. But similarly, only 1 side is being shown to the western world.

  82. Terry – As I wrote in my first paragraph to you that while I was on the mainland, “The airport scenes as well as other violent scenes, PLA in Shenzhen and pro-mainland protests were shown repeatedly on mainland CCTV CNA, CNN and BBC.” They showed it over and over for weeks.

    I read the English language Chinese propaganda newspaper (China Daily) and finally got copies of the NY Times from this period (the Times wrote and showed the violence to and from police. It showed violent protesters at the police station, City Legislature and elsewhere. The difference being on the mainland they censored everything but the small violent actions of a minority, who I believe everyone believes should be prosecuted but don’t try to say it is being done by the vast majority of protesters because that’d be a lie.

    You wouldn’t lie would you Terry? Are you just a mainland propaganda bot?

    I was scheduled to be in in Shenzhen for my last three days until I read your post the other day and changed my plans and will end my last three days in Hong Kong. Unlike you, I am not a mushroom; kept in the dark and fed sh+t.

    I like China. I like the Chinese people and respect the great strides they’ve made. They’ve put up with being treated like mushrooms because it has economically benefited them. I understand but don’t try to speak to someone who is knowledgable and skeptical about a free media like I’m one of the mushrooms.

    When the propaganda bots start to engage in bulls**t on blogs I read, it pisses me off. Go spread your manure to people without a free media. They just might buy it.

  83. @TheTruthIs – since you are on the mainland, that is probably why you see the coverage about the violence by the protesters also. In the US and UK, most people only get to see coverage heavily biased against the police. That is why most people over here thinks the protestors are peaceful and the police are brutal. Many people here are not aware that protestors are attacking the police and normal citizens too!

    I used to think that too, until I started talking about this with my family in HK. When I told them about the police violence I saw on BBC & CNN, they were the ones who told me that is not representative of what is going on. What is felt by real local HK citizens is not what is being portrayed in the western media. Many local HK citizens do not like the protests, many local HK people condemn protester violence.

    If I was a propaganda bot, I would just post a load of fake links. I wouldn’t tell people to search for these incidents on the media outlets they like such as NY times! There is no need to insult people just because they do not agree with you. There is nothing wrong with letting people know there is more to the story than the 1-sided coverage they are likely seeing.

  84. Goes to show the CEO they just fired (from the West) is ignorant of international politics. How clueless can you be? Businesses should stay out of politics. You should never bite the hand that feeds you. It’s really common sense. You as a CEO should know better. There is a legitimate security concern here. Who knows what the staff or pilot can do to sabotage China and its people? I don’t think China is being harsh here. It’s just pure stupidity from Cathay Pacific.

  85. You are just another mainland propagandist. The violence is shown daily in the US and Hong Kong, unlike what you wrote. And I haven’t seen one story from a credible news outlet blaming the problem on the police, though it has been reported that in some instances they have overreacted. Pictures of violence is on the front page of the NY Times. You wouldn’t know that though because you only see state propaganda. You’re just willing to lie to your countryman because you and your government are afraid of the truth. I’ve watched the media very closely on the mainland, in Hong Kong and the US and what you are saying are lies. Like I said, if you’re a mushroom (kept in the dark and fed sh*t) then you might buy what you’re selling, but not knowledgeable people with free media. OK you’re a human propaganda bot. Does that make you feel better? But you’re also a mushroom, fed sh*t and kept in the dark.

  86. Terry – Also, I’ll not fly Cathay Pacific again because they are just a mainland lacky like yourself. Firing employees because they protest, especially union leadership, shows the mainland for what they are; authoritarian dictators who are afraid of losing power. After five weeks watching the authoritarian mainland Chinese censorship and propaganda machine work, I’ve decided not to ever again use my new 10 year visa again. I won’t spend time and money in China’s authoritarian dictatorship again. And would ask others to boycott China. Your propaganda and outright lies have convinced me of the insidious nature of mass government propaganda. I will also begin boycotting companies doing business in China. I’ll leave you propaganda bot mushrooms to your authoritarian fantasies.

  87. Good Riddance. Cathay asked for it. How can their management be so dumb and irresponsible. They need to pay the price for their stupidity, endangering the lives of travelling passengers: it’s plain common sense – pilots and air hostesses are not supposed to engage in any such anti-social activities that are in direct conflict with their day-to-day jobs. Airports are a virtual home for pilots and air hostesses. There is no better example of a direct conflict of interests. It’s incumbent upon any Airline employer to immediately fire any of their airline employees who participate in such anti Govt rallies associated with rioting, arson and destruction of public property. Not doing so, geometrically increases the risks to all flights and their passengers. These airline personnel have direct access to security areas within the Immigration area and to critical areas on the aircraft’s in which they fly. What’s to prevent delinquent airline personnel from carrying out sabotage or acts of terrorism. Today it’s protesting and rioting at the airport terminal, tomorrow these radicalised nut cases could carry an offensive weapon or explosives on to the aircraft. Simply cannot be tolerated. They are free to resign from their jobs and become professional rioters. If not they should be fired forthwith and banned from the airlines. Senior management at Cathay who didn’t display simple common sense and responsibility to allow this to happen should also be placed under scrutiny for their sheer incompetence.

    Don’t blame China for Cathay Pacific’s mismanagement and downfall. Chinese authorities, CAAC had already given CX the choice. Don’t fly into mainland China’s airspace and CX doesn’t need to comply with their directives. This was very clearly stated. Their country, their law.

  88. Scott – I won’t take the time to dismantle your propaganda because what you are is a Beijing Propaganda Bot. Besides no one is reading this string any longer.

  89. Thetruthis – LMAO, you just ate your words and made a fool of yourself! You idiot. Your parents obviously didn’t teach you that you’re living in a world of fake news and never ending lies.

    It will be a total waste of air& time to talk to an intellectually challenged imbecile and nut case like you again.

  90. The truthls – LOLLLLLLLL. What an unhinged nutter you’re! You idiot are beyond redemption.

    I’m done with this topic and see you no more muppet.

  91. Ha Ha! See you later Chinese propaganda bots! Go somewhere else and try to trick others into believing Beijing’s propaganda. Most of the world disbelieves it and probably most mainland Chinese too.

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