Employee relations and engagement

We encourage our people to provide their views, ideas and feedback through a variety of channels including the intranet, structured surveys, focus groups, direct communication with line managers and other department-specific platforms.

New online platforms for social media and other crowdsourcing ideas were launched for Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon staff in 2015. The use of Yammer, an enterprise social media platform, was introduced to enable teams to communicate in a completely different way. Accessible through PCs and mobile apps, employees can join a wide variety of work and leisure groups to engage and interact with people across the company, within their departments or those who share similar interests. Overall, over 13,500 staff have since joined the company’s Yammer network. A sustainability group was set up and staff have been actively contributing posts on waste reduction, energy efficiency improvement and other environmental developments in the industry.

In 2016, we organised a series of lunch talks on the issues of conservation, biological resources, and food waste, and a photo competition was launched to encourage further engagement. These activities took place throughout the year, with a collective aim to raise awareness and encourage our staff to lead a more sustainable lifestyle.

The winning photos of our World Environment Day Photo Competition 2016

Engaging with Our Diverse, Mobile Workforce

One of the factors that make our team so unique is that our staff are widely dispersed around the world, consisting of diverse cultures, background and languages. We work with multiple trade bodies based in different countries, each with specific union regulations. Yet, we uphold freedom of association for all of our staff. Industrial relations continue to be an important issue however, and we are actively working with the various groups to continue to enhance communication and consultation, in order to ensure that views are heard and acted upon appropriately.

Cultural Diversity

As a global business and one of the largest employers in Hong Kong we have a diverse, multicultural workforce. We appreciate the importance of leveraging the richness this diversity brings. Diversity brings us closer to our colleagues and customers, it enhances a Life Well Travelled for both our passengers and our people.

In 2016, we employed pilots from more than 48 different countries. Our cabin crew represents 30 different nationalities, and our local staff operate in more than 50 countries.

Cabin crew nationality mix(%)

  • 57%Hong Kong
  • 5%Taiwan
  • 5%Canada
  • 4%Malaysia
  • 4%Philippines
  • 4%United States
  • 4%United Kingdom
  • 3%Korea
  • 2%Singapore
  • 2%Thailand
  • 2%Indonesia
  • 2%India
  • 1%Australia
  • 1%Others

Flight crew, cabin crew, HK ground staff and subsidiary staff (%)

  • 11%Flight crew
  • 35%Cabin crew
  • 26%Ground staff
  • 28%Subsidiary staff

We are committed to creating a more inclusive environment. We believe it is our corporate responsibility to be a role model in Hong Kong. Our aim is to create and sustain a fair, equitable and inclusive employee experience for all our staff across the CX Group that encourages them to be their authentic self at work.

Any type of discrimination based on background and culture orientation is viewed as a serious matter, one that we approach with an intolerance policy.

Ground staff

In 2016, the People Communications and Engagement team was formed to oversee the corporate-wide internal communications and engagement agenda for both Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon. The team is focused on how we can more effectively communicate and engage with all our people through existing and new communication channels, events, forums and recognition programmes.

Some of these include The Journey magazine, our intranets, social collaboration via Yammer, auditoriums and various employee events like our A350 aircraft experience, our final 747 flight and our 70th anniversary event of the Street.

The team also looks after our annual Niki and Betsy awards programme. Our annual Betsy Award has been celebrating our customer facing teams for over 10 years. And for the first time, the new Niki Award is focusing on all the great work being done behind-the-scenes that helps us operate smoothly, every day.

This team formation marks an important first step forward towards building an environment where our people better understand the company’s strategic direction, and can feel more connected to the company and our brand.

HKIA service touches customers’ hearts

The Heart Awards is a recognition programme that acknowledges our staff’s outstanding services and other performances beyond the call of duty at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA). In 2016, three presentation ceremonies were hosted and awards were given to more than 600 staff who received extraordinary praise from their superiors and passengers after demonstrating consistent service excellence. In addition, the HKIA team voted for both individual and team awards, recognising those who have shown great handling skills and support in assisting passengers, especially during times of operational disruption.

Engaging with the directors

Since 2012, a number of employee activities involving the airline’s directors have been organised, allowing our people to engage directly with senior leaders in an informal and casual setting outside of the workplace. For example, around 40 staff participated in a hike with Chief Executive Ivan Chu in 2016.

Cathay City rooftop farm

Cathay Pacific’s first-ever rooftop farm was launched in April 2016 with the aim of transforming a city building’s rooftop into a vibrant green space. 130 volunteers from over 20 departments joined the newly-formed Farmer’s Club to take part in this urban farming initiative. A farm-to-table event using fresh produce was organised in celebration of the first harvest. During the year, 25 varieties of herbs and vegetables were cultivated, yielding over 500 kg of fresh produce.

I have cooked for myself since I studied abroad, and over the years I discovered that besides cooking skills, the freshness of the ingredients can have a significant influence on the taste of dishes. One of the many advantages of growing your own food is that you can guarantee what you eat is safe, healthy and fresh.*

Sindy Lam

Assistant Manager, Revenue Management System
Member of Farmer’s Club

Flight crew

Our teams across Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon support pilots on matters relating to their employment and wellbeing, including benefits, rostering, sickness and injury, in addition to technical and operational matters. On the communications and engagement side, we keep pilots updated on developments within the Flight Operations Department, and across Cathay Pacific. This is achieved through regular management updates, fleet and training news, fleet forums where pilots meet with managers and via our corporate social media platform. We also host regular social events for our senior pilots, giving them and their partners an opportunity to meet with the senior management team.

Cathay Pacific pilots based in Hong Kong, Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand are represented by various associations. Our employee relations team strive to ensure that the workplace conditions negotiated with each of the associations are fair and work in the best interests of pilots and the sustainability of Cathay Pacific in the long term.

Engagement is further strengthened through the Cathay Dragon Pilots Association. Pilot representatives have worked closely with Cathay Dragon’s management on different committees to provide feedback on various fronts, including meal selection, accommodation, rostering and scheduling. Communications with crew continue through twice-monthly fleet forums and ’town hall’ meetings with the management. There are also regular bulletins from the Director Operations and other managers.

Our pilots continued to partner in the Cathay Dragon Aviation Certificate Programme (CDACP), a long-running corporate social responsibility initiative that has been at the core of the Cathay Dragon Youth Aviation Academy for the past ten years. Many graduates of the programme began their careers in different areas of the aviation industry.

Fly Pink

In 2016, Fly Pink was established by our female pilots from Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon and Air Hong Kong to raise awareness and funds for The Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation (HKBCF). Since its establishment, over $1,485,500 has been raised through charity sales and other fund raising events. For example, throughout the month of October in 2016, our pilots wore pink epaulettes, sold pink ribbon pins, held a charity luncheon, and bid a nostalgic farewell to our magnificent last Cathay Pacific Boeing 747-400 on her final passenger scenic flight over Hong Kong – all in aid of the HKBCF.

Fly Pink is a 100% charitable society. Our aim is to join hands to raise funds and awareness throughout our community, in our fight against breast cancer, and in support of those affected.

Antonia Zoya-Anton

Senior Captain and Chairperson, CX Fly Pink

Cabin crew

Communication and consultation

As part of our frontline team, the Cathay Pacific cabin crew provide invaluable input to the way we serve customers. Their views are important to us, and consultation and feedback are a key focus. We do this by strengthening existing crew forums, including yearly Inflight Service Managers (ISM) forums, consultative groups, the Premium Service Ambassadors, Economy Class Service Ambassadors, Cabin Quality Specialist groups and workshops tailored to the different categories of crew.

At Cathay Pacific, the Cabin Crew Consultation Group, comprised a diverse range of cabin crew led by the Cabin Crew Relations & Communications Section, has been holding monthly meetings since 2001. In addition to helping with Crew Forums, the group is also consulted on a regular basis for matters of interest and relevance to the crew community, and they also provide valuable input for the management of the Inflight Services Department (ISD).

To engage with the crew community on a regular basis, Cathay Dragon carried out monthly Rostering Focus Group meetings throughout 2016. These groups discuss various roster issues which prevail across the crew community and relay constructive ideas collected from other crew members. The focus group also provides fresh management insights to the diverse crew community.

Cathay Dragon’s Cabin Crew Support Team (CCST) meets monthly to discuss operational issues and looks for ways to enable a more effective service and to improve occupational health and safety conditions in the cabin. To give crew a better understanding of other operational areas, the CCST acts as a channel to disseminate information about the decision and logistical processes involved in facilitating changes and improvements.

Newsletter and social network

Cathay Pacific produces bi-weekly cabin crew newsletters (CCNL) and monthly safety newsletters in both print and digital formats to ensure cabin crew are well informed. Cathay Dragon publishes its own CCNL on a monthly basis. Cathay Dragon also implements DragonTV, an initiative which is hosted by the General Manager of Inflight Services. This was shown on a monthly basis on Dragonet, iKA, at the Crew Lounge and on the KA Channel, along with a special edition on the Cathay Dragon rebranding in November.

A Yammer group has been created to encourage cabin crew to share views and suggestions with the company in an informal way. Our inflight management team has been actively engaged in constructive dialogue with our cabin crew on this platform.

Meeting the needs of our cabin crew

In recognition of our expanding inflight team and increasingly complex service environment, the following are some of the areas where initiatives are ongoing with the aim of meeting crew requirements and more effectively catering to their needs:

  • Lifestyle and rostering

    We work to provide roster flexibility to crew in order to meet their lifestyle needs. Throughout the years, we have launched different schemes to cater to the different needs of our cabin crew. These have included the High Density Scheme, the High Hours Scheme, the Route Specific Rosters Scheme and the Work-Life Enhancement Leave Scheme. These initiatives on flight request systems provide more flexibility on crew rosters.

  • On the job

    We endeavour to provide our cabin crew a safe and efficient working environment. In 2016, we launched special meal options for cabin crew. Similar to passengers, cabin crew may select special meals to meet their dietary needs. Our crew was also integral in the development and implementation of the defect-free cabin campaign. This has been an ongoing, long-term working group with Inflight Service Managers (ISM) and the Engineering and Cabin Quality & Standards teams to maintain the high standards of our cabins.

  • Recognition and support

    We increased interaction and engagement to recognise the efforts of our cabin crew through receptions, top performers’ dinners, bi-monthly crew forums and ISM workshops to discuss ideas and issues. We also recruited a team of Performance Development Executives and Performance Development Assistants to strengthen the support for the Line Management Teams and bonding with crew. Jetset TV, launched in 2011, is a lifestyle magazine in a video format, where crew are responsible for developing story ideas, script-writing, producing and presenting topics that are of interest to them.

  • Cabin crew helpdesk

    Cathay Dragon Cabin Crew Help Desk in Hong Kong and Shanghai provide personalised care and support to the crew community. Manned by a group of senior cabin crew seven days a week, Help Desk handles enquiries, shares experiences and job knowledge, addresses crew sentiments and exercises ‘Tender Loving Care’ (TLC) to crew members who are affected by flight disruptions or work injuries. Similarly, the Cabin Crew Help Desk in Shanghai offers support to locally-based crew. Approximately 100 cases are handled by the helpdesk every week.

Flight Attendants’ Union

Salary reviews are conducted every year, and any adjustments are made at the corporate level. Discussions between the Flight Attendants’ Union and Cathay Pacific management took place at end of 2016 and an agreement was reached by both parties. The dialogue on mutually important matters continues on an ongoing basis.

Charitable work

Our cabin crew is active and enthusiastic in contributing to charitable causes, both locally and internationally. In 2016, Cathay Pacific cabin crew participated in different activities such as Pink Walk for Breast Health and Beat the Banana Run, raising funds for local charities. In December 2016, cabin crew from different countries came together to organise the International Food Fair in Cathay Pacific City. Cabin crew chefs prepared their signature dishes from their home countries and sold them to benefit the charity group Sunnyside Club. This event not only raised funds for those in need, but also celebrated diversity among the cabin crew community.

Internationally, cabin crew partner with Habitat for Humanity on charity trips. In 2016, around 30 crew members, together with the General Manager Cabin Crew (GMCC), travelled to developing countries to build houses for those in need.

In collaboration with Cathay Pacific and the Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation, Pink Ribbon pins were sold throughout the month of October to Cathay Dragon’s cabin crew, who wore them inflight in support of the meaningful event. Members from the Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation visited Cathay Dragon House to conduct Breast Cancer Awareness talks to our cabin crew. The campaign was well-received, raising a total of HKD$38,000 from our community of 1993 cabin crew.

Opening of Beijing base cabin crew

The grand opening ceremony of Cathay Dragon’s Beijing-Based Cabin Crew Briefing Office took place on 11 November at the Beijing Capital International Airport. The ceremony was led by General Manager Inflight Services, along with members of the ISD Management in a simple ribbon and cake-cutting ceremony. The first batch of Beijing-based cabin crew were welcomed with a celebratory dinner.

Crew forum and annual dinners

To facilitate enhanced communication and engagement, Cathay Dragon hosts regular crew forums and appreciation dinners. In 2016, 12 crew forums were held in Hong Kong and one each in Shanghai and Hangzhou respectively, reaching out to more than 600 cabin crew. A variety of issues were raised in these forums, which were then followed up by the relevant departments. These issues included crew rostering, flight patterns, new destinations, policies, catering matters, hotel issues and travel benefits. In addition to the crew forums, many members of cabin crew across different ranks and nationalities also joined various annual dinners, crew gatherings and the annual Inflight Sales Fun Fair.