Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific has fired three cargo pilots who were infected by COVID-19 in Germany after an internal investigation found a “serious breach” of crew requirements overseas.
The pilots were suspected of leaving their hotel rooms in Frankfurt, Germany during overseas layovers, according to a source of the South China Morning Post, although Cathay did not specify the specific grounds for having the trio fired.
“After investigation into these cases, regrettably, the findings indicate a serious breach of requirements during crew overseas layovers,” Cathay’s statement said.
Hong Kong’s strict COVID-19 rules include pilots being prohibited from leaving their destinations or their homes and are required to take daily COVID-19 tests.
Last week, Cathay confirmed that two of its cargo pilots caught COVID-19 in Frankfurt — the pilots had denied leaving their hotel room during their stay. A third one stayed in the same hotel in Frankfurt and tested positive on Sunday.
The discovery of the infections put 150 Cathay employees including household members and direct contacts under a government quarantine facility for three weeks.
Hong Kong’s Transport and Housing Bureau described the breach as “deeply regretful,” urging airlines to strictly comply with the city’s requirements to prevent similar incidents in the future.
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