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SARS break

THE airline industry breathed easier last week when the World Health Organisation declared that SARS had been contained worldwide.

Demand for some Cathay Pacific services had plummeted 80 per cent during the height of the outbreak, and 45 per cent of schedule flights were cancelled.

Cathay Pacific had requested staff, including those in Australia, to take four weeks’ leave, unpaid, in an effort to stave off job cuts.

Now, the company – Hong Kong’s airline – has shortened this leave period by one week, aiming to restore all suspended Hong Kong flights by September, 70 per cent of these this month.

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