Cathay Pacific Defends Practice of Letting Crews Return to Hong Kong on Cargo Flights

A Cathay Pacific Airbus A350 climbing after takeoff.
Alan Wilson, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

LONDON – Cathay Pacific has defended the practice of letting crews return to Hong Kong on cargo flights to its government.

This comes following the continued scandal and pressure surrounding the airline’s actions having an influence on the uptick of COVID-19 cases in the country.

Cathay states that this was an arrangement in line with the government regulations, and even went as far as to say that officials in the Hong Kong administration were aware of it.

Until recently, certain cargo flight staff were exempt from having to undergo quarantine upon their arrival into the country.

However, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam, has said the authorities are investigating to see whether this has been exploited by the airline.

Transport Pixels from England, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Cathay Chairman, Patrick Healy, has said the airline will fully co-operate with the government’s investigation, stating that such declarations about staff on the cargo flights have been made.

“We have made fully transparent and accurate declarations for every crew member who was rostered on those flights to the relevant authorities,” he said.

He also added that Cathay staff have spent a total of 73,000 nights in quarantine hotels in 2021, and for the first eight months of the year, not a single crew member came down with COVID.

Healy also apologized for some employees breaching home isolation requirements, which looks to be the reason why the Hong Kong government is on the offensive.

AviationSource published an article around a week ago surrounding the point of Chinese influence in Hong Kong and whether such influence is being used to destroy Cathay Pacific during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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