A strike by Cathay Pacific Airways' pilots will have a devastating effect on its share price and financial performance at a time when the carrier is struggling to recover from one of the worst economic downturns to hit Asia, according to analysts. Estimates indicate it will take less than one week of a full shutdown of operations for the carrier to lose as much as $500 million in foregone revenues. The Hongkong Aircrew Officers Association - the de facto union of Cathay Pacific pilots - said yesterday it was considering strike action after talks on salary reductions for some of its members broke down. One investment analyst, speaking off the record, said: 'A full-blown strike would murder Cathay Pacific's share price and have serious implications on its financial health. 'It would be difficult for the carrier to assure investors that it could ride out a strike without significant financial damage.' John Casey, Singapore-based regional aviation analyst at investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, said a pilots' strike would quickly wipe out the carrier's cost-savings programme. 'Cathay is understood to want a $500 million saving per year in staff costs. 'But it would take less than a week of full suspension of flights to lose that amount in revenues,' Mr Casey said. He said a strike would be 'quite catastrophic' for the airline's earnings situation in the short term. Keith Lee, aviation analyst at Worldsec Securities, said he did not believe the pilots would easily cave in on the salary reduction issue. 'In a worst-case scenario, I believe its stock could fall back to below $10 per share.' Cathay shares ended yesterday down 1.2 per cent at $11.90.