Coronavirus: Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific takes disciplinary action against unvaccinated flight crew
Cathay Pacific has initiated disciplinary proceedings against dozens of flight attendants and pilots who refused to be vaccinated against Covid-19, keeping her promise to review the jobs of those who still have not been vaccinated before the August 31 deadline.
Between 60 and 80 crew members are in the line of fire, sources say To post, as the airline began to question their lack of vaccination records.
As of Tuesday, all of the airline’s flights were operated by fully vaccinated crews.
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Cathay Pacific staff and Hong Kong airport workers receive vaccine ultimatum
“We are monitoring the small number of cases individually,” a company spokeswoman said on Wednesday. “We continue to review the future employment of those who are not vaccinated and assess whether they can continue to be employed as a crew with Cathay Pacific.”
The company said the vast majority of its Hong Kong-based employees were vaccinated, including 99% of pilots and 93% of flight attendants.
The airline said those who could not be vaccinated for valid medical reasons or on long-term leave accounted for most of those who had not yet been vaccinated.
The carrier employs 13,500 people in Hong Kong and another 4,300 outside the city, according to its latest semi-annual report. Most of its 3,000 pilots and approximately 7,000 cabin crew members are locally based.
Hong Kong has some of the strictest rules in the world for cross-border travel, with the vast majority of arrivals having to serve between 14 and 21 days of mandatory quarantine as well as undergo multiple Covid-19 tests while in isolation.
Airlines, including Cathay, are seen as potential importers of Covid-19 cases. Earlier this year, the carrier slashed its flight schedule when the quarantine was first imposed on flight attendants.
When the city’s mass vaccination program was first launched in February, airline staff were among the first groups of workers to be prioritized for vaccines.
If Cathay follows through on the layoffs, it would be the first airline in the world known to lay off staff for vaccinations. But in recent weeks and months, dozens of global airlines have also said they plan to make vaccinations mandatory.
Cathay Pacific concludes quarantine agreement for aircrew for flights to “high risk” countries
Carriers with mandatory staff vaccination policies include Qantas, United Airlines, and Virgin Australia. Delta Air Lines, meanwhile, took a different approach, warning unprotected staff that they risk paying higher health insurance premiums from November.
Ahead of Cathay’s August 31 deadline, the airline said regular testing for Covid-19 would no longer be an option for unvaccinated workers, including ground staff at the airport.
From December 1, only fully vaccinated staff and contractors will be allowed into its offices and buildings, while those working at the airport will need both vaccines by October 1.
Since the start of the pandemic, Cathay has lost HK $ 29.2 billion ($ 3.75 billion) as the government intervened at one point to prevent its collapse, contributing the lion’s share of an injection of HK $ 39 billion fund.
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