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Cathay Pacific begins disciplinary proceedings against unvaccinated flight crew

Aviation Updates Philippines – Cathay Pacific has initiated disciplinary proceedings against dozens of unvaccinated employees after a deadline to get vaccinated against COVID-19 has elapsed.

Photo by Transport Pixels on Wikimedia Commons

According to a report by the South China Morning Post (SCMP), as many as 80 pilots and flight attendants could lose their jobs if they are unable to prove that they have been vaccinated or give a valid reason for not getting the vaccine.

The Hong Kong-based carrier previously said that it would dismiss crew members if they are not vaccinated against COVID-19 by August 31.

"We are following up on the small number of cases individually," a company spokesperson said. "We continue to review the future employment of those who are not vaccinated and assess whether they can continue to be employed as aircrew with Cathay Pacific."

The spokesperson added that special consideration has been given to those who had not been vaccinated for valid medical reasons or are on long-term leave.

As of June 30, Cathay Pacific had about 13,500 employees in Hong Kong and another 4,300 elsewhere, with the majority of its 3,000 pilots and around 7,000 flight attendants based in Hong Kong. 

At present, around 99 percent of pilots and 93 percent of flight attendants had already received the COVID-19 vaccine.

Last month, Cathay Pacific told all employees and contractors that only those who had been vaccinated can enter Hong Kong International Airport's restricted areas beginning October 1.

By December 1, all employees and contractors must be vaccinated to be allowed entry into Cathay Pacific premises. Regular COVID-19 testing will no longer be accepted as a substitute for vaccination.

If the dismissal of unvaccinated pilots and flight attendants pushes through, Cathay Pacific will become the first airline in the world to terminate employees who fail to comply with its COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Other airlines with mandatory vaccination policies for their employees include Qantas, Virgin Australia, United Airlines, and Hawaiian Airlines.

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