Cathay Pacific shares slump amid protest controversy

Shares in Cathay Pacific Airways fell by almost 5 percent to close to a 10-year low on Monday after the Hong Kong flag carrier got caught in the crosswinds of recent Hong Kong unrest.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China issued a warning of major aviation safety risks to Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific, listing three requirements for Cathy Pacific in the warning letter.

On Sunday, Cathay Pacific said it has suspended one of its pilots who was charged with rioting in Hong Kong protests recently, while dismissing two staff members for leaking information about police officers who flew as passengers.

The pilot was arrested and charged with rioting on July 28. He returned to work after being released on bail. According to the airline, he has not been assigned to a flight since July 30. 

Cathay's largest shareholder is Swire Pacific Ltd, with a 45-percent stake, followed by China's flagship carrier, Air China Ltd which owns 30 percent, according to the airline's latest annual report.

The airline's share price has fallen by more than 30 percent from its April high, and its market value has evaporated by nearly 16.8 billion Hong Kong dollars (2.14 billion U.S. dollars).

(With input from Reuters)