Cathay Pacific considers stricter quarantine rules after freighter pilots test positive

By Damian Brett

Cathay Pacific is considering stricter quarantine rules for crew after three freighter pilots tested positive for Covid-19 following a layover at a Frankfurt Airport.

The airline said that crews self-isolate in their rooms within designated hotels during any layover in places outside of Hong Kong and undergo regular testing.

However, following the incident, the airline will conduct a “thorough internal investigation into these cases to ensure we continue to operate with the highest degree of safety and compliance”.

Reports suggest the airline has also changed to another hotel at Frankfurt and asked any cabin crew and pilots that have passed through the hotel this month – as well as any that have come in contact with the pilots – to quarantine for 21 days.

According to reports, the airline is considering asking pilots and crew to temporarily relocate away from Hong Kong to avoid possible stricter quarantine measures implemented by Hong Hong.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said the airline had placed around 130 aircrew members in quarantine for 21 days following the incident.

Lam said the incident had “greatly affected” the cargo arm.

Cathay Pacific said: “As an immediate action, we will step up our compliance checks at overseas stations to ensure Cathay Pacific’s health and safety protocols are being strictly followed by aircrew during their layovers.”

“Specifically, we will issue further guidelines to strengthen the requirements over aircrew’s movements in the local community during their medical surveillance periods. We will also arrange our aircrew to undergo daily Covid-19 testing.”

Cathay Pacific is also asking all crew to quarantine for three days after returning to Hong Kong.

“Fully recognizing the Hong Kong SAR Government’s mission to keep Hong Kong free from Covid-19, our aircrew are regularly reminded of the critical importance of complying with anti-pandemic measures both in Hong Kong and overseas,” Cathay Pacific said.

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