Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd is facing "unprecedented" staffing and training shortages that will keep airfares high and threaten Hong Kong's restoration as a global aviation hub, the union representing its pilots said on Thursday.

"Cathay Pacific, which built its global recognition on the pillars of outstanding safety, quality and service, is currently facing unprecedented staffing and training shortages," the Hong Kong Aircrew Officers Association (HKAOA) said in a statement.

"With a record number of resignations from the company's most experienced pilots, Cathay stands unprepared to fully resume its operations, failing to meet demand in a resurgent travel market," it said. (Reporting by Jamie Freed in Sydney; Editing by Tom Hogue)