Cathay Pacific Airways has fired three cargo pilots infected with Covid-19, saying they breached internal guidelines during their overseas stay.
“After investigation into these cases, regrettably, the findings indicate a serious breach of requirements during crew overseas layovers. The individuals concerned are no longer employed by Cathay Pacific,” the Hong Kong-based airline stated on Thursday.
The three pilots, who enjoyed quarantine exemption, tested positive for Covid
-19 upon returning to Hong Kong from Frankfurt. All of them stayed in the crew hotel, Hyatt Regency Mainz.
It is understood that the three left the hotel for prolonged periods during their stay in Germany, breaching internal guidelines.
Currently, the airline relies on the self-discipline of crew members when it comes to compliance with guidelines. It is considering options to verify compliance and ensure stricter enforcement.
Two of the pilots, aged 57 and 29, left on October 31 for Germany and returned on November 6 on cargo flight CX2066 from Frankfurt.
The third pilot, 53, left Hong Kong on November 3 for Germany and returned to the SAR from Frankfurt on November 7 on flight CX3166.
The SAR government has put 130 cargo pilots under quarantine after infection of the three, as they stayed in the same hotel in Frankfurt.
On Monday, the Hong Kong airline announced a new set of enhanced self-isolation rules for its aircrew, with more restrictions imposed on their daily activities on the first three days after returning to Hong Kong.
They can only leave home for two hours to carry out essential activities, including “purchasing food and essential daily necessities,” “solo exercising,” “seeking medical attention,” and taking a Covid
-19 test, according to an internal memo sent to staffers.
The airline is also considering sending its pilots out of Hong Kong to station abroad for several months in a bid to navigate around the city’s strict Covid
-19 quarantine policy.