As Hong Kong continues to deal with protests, flag carrier airline Cathay Pacific has lost its CEO following Rupert Hogg’s resignation.
According to the South China Morning Post, the 57-year-old Hogg and chief commercial officer Paul Loo stepped down after controversy arose due to the involvement of Cathay Pacific employees in anti-government protests.
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A statement released by the airline said Hogg and Loo resigned to “take responsibility” as leaders of the company “in view of recent events.” The carrier had come under fire from the Chinese government for not stopping employees from joining the protests.
Cathay Pacific chairman John Slosar said new management was needed to “reset confidence.”
As a result of Hogg’s resignation, Augustus Tang Kin-wing was appointed as the new leader of the airline, while Ronald Lam Siu-por was announced as the new chief customer and commercial officer, replacing Loo.
Slosar said that recent events involving Cathay Pacific employees and the organized protests “called into question the airline’s commitment to flight safety and security and put its reputation and brand under pressure.”
“This is regrettable as we have always made safety and security our highest priority,” Slosar said. “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.”
The resignations come just a week after the Civil Aviation Administration of China banned any of the airline’s employees who supported Hong Kong’s illegal protests from entering mainland China airspace, citing safety grounds.
As a result, Cathay Pacific appeased the Chinese aviation regulator by firing employees involved in the protests and vowed its support to the local government.