British Airways is expected to continue flying to Hong Kong despite closing its base there and laying off its Hong Kong-based staff. Photo: iStock

British Airways laid off all 85 of its Hong Kong-based cabin crew on Wednesday as it is closing its Hong Kong base at the end of next month to cut costs, despite the airline still making a profit.

The airline met its Hong Kong workers in groups to inform them their contracts were being terminated immediately, Apple Daily reported.

Of the sacked staff, 56 were under continuous employment contracts, including a flight attendant who had been with the airline for 32 years. Another 24 workers who had their contracts renewed every 12 months will work until the end of next month.

The Hong Kong base will be closed completely on Oct. 31.

Carol Ng Man-yee, the general secretary of the BA Hong Kong International Cabin Crew Association, said everyone at the crew base would stop working starting Thursday. The company would meet staff individually and gave three and a half days for workers to consider their redundancy packages.

Ng slammed the arrangements as a “disrespectful ending” for people who had worked for the airline for years, adding that when the company closed its bases elsewhere, it gave as much as six months’ notice.

The British flag carrier, which has been flying to the city for 82 years, at present operates two daily flights between Hong Kong and London and two to four Cantonese-speaking cabin crew members worked on each flight, Sing Tao Daily reported.

The airline has already dismissed staff members at outstation crew bases in Singapore and South America.

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