Several worldwide airlines, including Air India and IndiGo, have cancelled flights to China over fears of the virus spreading across the world, a move which Beijing described was against the WHO guidelines.
The airline is also asking suppliers for price reductions, implementing hiring freezes, postponing major projects and stopping all noncritical spending.
"But by supporting the special leave scheme, you will be helping at our time of need", he told staff.
"If they can not arrange accommodation, they will be taken to the temporary facilities prepared by the government", Health Secretary Sophia Chan said.
Cathay Pacific's CEO Augustus Tang pleaded with his employees in a video message on Wednesday, citing the current virus crisis is "just as grave" a situation as the global recession from ten years ago.
As reported by SMCP news, Cathay Pacific will be reducing flights to the mainland for two months operated by both Cathay Pacific and its Cathay Dragon subsidiary, which operates regional flights from Hong Kong. "All employees will have the option to take three weeks of unpaid leave in this period".
Faced with a growing number of infected people, African airlines are no longer serving China, as are several airlines such as AIr France-KLM (until February 9), American Airlines (January 31 to March 27), Qatar Airways (from February 3).
Hong Kong said Friday that it will deploy an army of volunteers to reinforce plans to quarantine all those who arrive from mainland China, warning that anyone caught violating the new rules faces up to six months in prison.
Elderly people queue up for free surgical masks from a convenience store, following the outbreak of a new coronavirus, in Hong Kong, China, February 7, 2020. "I realise this is hard to hear, and we may need to take further steps ahead, but by supporting the special leave scheme you will be helping at our time of need", he told staff.
The virus has killed nearly 500 people an infected more than 24,000 in China.
Virgin Australia Group Chief Commercial Officer, John MacLeod said in a statement that Hong Kong has "continued to be a challenging market".