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Covid positive pilots sacked! Cathay Pacific cites ‘severe breach’ as reason

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd of Hong Kong announced that three cargo pilots infected with COVID-19 during a layover in Frankfurt have been sacked for an undefined ‘severe breach’ of crew regulations while on the job.

Cathay Pacific said in a statement on Thursday that ‘the employees affected are no longer employed by Cathay Pacific.’

According to the South China Morning Post, which initially reported the terminations, the pilots were suspected of leaving their hotel rooms in Germany.

More than 150 other Cathay Pacific personnel, including pilots and flight attendants, as well as many family members and community contacts, were taken to a government quarantine centre for three weeks after the infections were discovered.

‘In light of these facts, we’ve asked the government to reconsider its decision to place particular individuals under government quarantine,’ Cathay added.

Although there have been few local Covid-19 infections in Hong Kong in recent months, authorities in the global financial centre have strengthened the quarantine measures.

In contrast to a global trend of opening up and living with the coronavirus, Hong Kong is following Beijing’s lead in maintaining severe travel restrictions.

The city government hopes that the stricter measures will persuade China, Hong Kong’s main source of economic growth, to gradually open its border.

Cathay said it would increase compliance checks at overseas ports, after the pilot cases were revealed last week, to ensure that the health and safety regulations were rigorously followed during layovers.

COVID-19 vaccines have been given to all Cathay Pacific crew members, and the airline has said that a booster dosage will be administered.

Travel demand has dropped as a result of Hong Kong’s tough policies, which include up to three weeks of hotel quarantine after arrivals.

Cathay Pacific announced this week that it only operated at 10 percent of pre-pandemic passenger capacity in October, and that passenger numbers were down 97.2 percent from the previous year.


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