Cathay Pacific has cancelled some pilots' leave next month in anticipation of resuming normal schedules for the peak holiday season.
Spokeswoman Lisa Wong Lai-shan said yesterday the company had overestimated the leave it could grant in the wake of the terrorist attacks in the US.
However, Cathay now planned to resume a full flight schedule - cut by seven per cent since September 11 - in December, she said.
The leave cancellation follows a recent letter to staff in which chief executive David Turnbull mooted a company-wide unpaid leave scheme.
In the letter he also referred to "surplus staff in many areas of the company", and announced the 13th-month bonus would not be paid.
Ms Wong said the cancellation of leave took place several weeks ago but had only just been made public.
The company had apologised to a small number of pilots affected.
The general secretary of the Aircrew Officers' Association, John Findlay, said a few pilots were disappointed but the company's desire to seize any business opportunities was understandable.
Ms Wong said no date had been set for further meetings between the pilots' union and the company, which are involved in an industrial dispute over pay and rostering.
The two sides met on Tuesday for the first time since previous negotiations broke down in late June.