Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Martin Hennecke

Cathay Pacific eyes hundreds of ways to cut costs
Greg Hughes, Cathay Pacific's chief operations and service delivery officer, said more than 740 initiatives had so far been identified to cut costs, boost productivity and improve customer service - including easier access to higher frequent flyer status, more economy-class seats on Boeing 777 airliners, and on-demand dining for business-class fliers.

Loss-making Cathay hired McKinsey & Co consultants earlier this year to advise on a transformation plan, drawing on turnarounds at regional rivals Qantas and Japan Airlines.

Battered by competition from China and Middle East airlines and hobbled by missteps in fuel hedging, Cathay in January completed a strategic review, and later announced its biggest job cuts in almost two decades.

"We were very keen on learning from them the best way to go about a transformation," Hughes said. "They have done thousands of them, and we haven't."

He said McKinsey's involvement ended after its consultants helped structure the three-year transformation program, which is being carried out by Cathay Pacific staff and aims for HK$4 billion of savings from lowering costs and boosting productivity. "We have always wanted our transformation program to be something that our people own and can deliver upon," he said.


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