Cathay Pacific pilots fired over breach of COVID protocol

The airline will be mandating booster shots for eligible aircrew

Cathay Pacific pilots fired over breach of COVID protocol

Three COVID-positive pilots of Cathay Pacific have been terminated by the airline after they found the trio had committed "serious breach" of protocol while in a layover abroad. The three pilots were aged 29, 53, and 57, and were confirmed positive for the virus on separate days over the last week after coming from Frankfurt, Germany.

"The individuals concerned are no longer employed by Cathay Pacific," the company said in a statement quoted by The Guardian.

The Hong Kong-based airline said that the workers were fired after their epidemiological probe showed that the pilots committed "a serious breach of requirements during crew overseas layovers."

While the company did not disclose what the serious breach was, a source told the South China Morning Post (SCMP) it was suspected the trio left their hotel rooms while they were in Germany.

Two of the workers, however, previously claimed during the probe that they didn’t leave their hotels during their stay abroad. Providing misleading or false information, including whereabouts and close contacts, related to COVID-19 could get the workers behind bars and fined $1,280 under Hong Kong's Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance.

Read more: Cathay Pacific sets crew deadline for COVID jab

Quarantine and aftermath

SCMP reported that the pilots' positive test results prompted a massive quarantine on more than 150 Cathay staff, as well as close family and contacts of the pilots. Following the reported infections, the company last week said it will "step up its compliance checks at overseas stations" to ensure that health and safety protocols are observed by aircrew.

"Specifically, we will issue further guidelines to strengthen the requirements over aircrew's movements in the local community during their medical surveillance periods," it added.

It will also seek daily COVID-19 testing for aircrew and will be requiring eligible staff to get a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccines.

"To further safeguard the public health of Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific will be requiring all eligible aircrew to receive a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine.  All other Cathay Pacific employees will also be strongly encouraged to get the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as early as possible," it said in a media release.

Recent articles & video

UOB reveals permanent hybrid working policy

One month year-end bonus for these Singaporean staff

Office relationships become latest pandemic casualty

Hybrid work: How to engage a multi-generational workforce

Most Read Articles

Future of Work: Practical HR tips to attract and retain talent

JPMorgan offers $5K quarantine reimbursement for HK staff

How to protect your workplace from long COVID