Cathay Pacific (CX, Hong Kong Int'l) will cut up to 30% of its administrative staff as it begins a streamlining exercise aimed at improving its overall cost-base as well as corporate agility.

According to an internal memo seen by Reuters and confirmed by the Hong Kong-based carrier, initial cuts will target middle and senior management roles at Cathay Pacific's Hong Kong head office.

"The outlook remains challenging and we do not expect to see any fundamental shift due to the structural issues we are faced with," the memo said. "Our airlines have not seen a review of the business or restructured our teams for over 20 years. We cannot afford to stand still."

The announcement comes in the wake of a full-year loss of HKG575 million (USD74.01 million), Cathay Pacific's first in eight years. In a Hong Kong stock exchange filing, the airline blamed overcapacity, a strong Hong Kong dollar, and increased competition from mainland Chinese rivals.