Cathay grounds pilot, removes 2 staff after regulator’s warning
HONG KONG – A Hong Kong pilot charged with rioting for taking part in a recent protest has been grounded, Cathy Pacific confirmed on Saturday.
This came a day after the embattled carrier received a warning from the nation’s aviation regulator over safety risk and queries from passengers and the public.
The airline also confirmed that two staff members had been sacked for misconducts.
The Hong Kong community, including political parties, residents and tourists, have voiced support for the decision by Civil Aviation Administration of China to ban Cathy Pacific staff who have involved in radical protests from flying the mainland routes. They also condemned the malicious breach of passengers’ personal information by some staff.
On July 28, a pilot of Cathy Pacific was arrested and charged with rioting for his violent acts during an illegal protest in the western area of Hong Kong Island. In the meantime, personal information of some police officers flying with the airline had been maliciously leaked.
The airline on Saturday said no flying activities have been arranged for the pilot since July 30 and he wasn’t involved in any flying activities since July 15.
The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong – the city’s largest political party – said in a statement that the actions are necessary to ensure passengers’ safety.
Vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Leung Chun-ying also expressed his support over the Civil Aviation Administration’s decision on his social media account.
In one of his posts, the former Hong Kong chief executive said those employees should be fired as they brought political issues into the work place and affected passengers with their political demands.
At the airport, a mainland visitor surnamed Zou expressed her disappointment over Cathy Pacific, saying it is irresponsible if the airline allows its employee who has taken part in violent protests and been charged with related crimes to continue to work.
“The information leakage is despicable and it violates professional ethics,” Zou said, adding she would not be traveling with the company in the short term out of safety concerns.
Hong Kong artist Yeung Mui-na told China Daily that she is ashamed about the malicious leak of police officers’ personal information.
The vile acts not only infringed passengers’ privacy, but also violate the law, Yeung said.
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