Quarantine in Hong Kong Triggered the Resign of Cathay Pacific
The problem of relentless happened to the airline, Cathay Pacific. Recently, the Hong Kong-based airline was hit by the wave of its pilots as an expression of disappointment at the strict quarantine policy imposed in the region.
Hong Kong currently follows the direction of Beijing, which closes its borders to suppress the spread of Covid-19. The move can tackle a positive case of Covid-19 but makes the city isolated internationally.
Hong Kong’s leadership states that normalizing the journey with mainland China must be prioritized before opening its borders for other countries. The strategy triggered the alarm rang in a multinational financial hub that called itself the world’s city in Asia.
As a result, many sectors are affected directly, including pilots. Four pilots who asked for them to be disguised said that dozens of their colleagues had resigned recently. They then applied for the same position in the company’s rivals which were more flexible in the face of Covid-19 pandemics.
“Everything gets worse, resigning is the final road taken,” said an experienced pilot flying for 20 years and has applied for two different airlines. “There are many people who have been at the saturation point. It is very surprising that we did not experience any accident.”
Throughout the pandemic, Hong Kong tightened travel rules to enter the region. They have a lot of travelers from abroad undergo quarantine for three weeks.
Although the pilot got a few exceptions, they still spent days, even weeks, back and forth in the aircraft bubble to the hotel to avoid strict quarantine obligations when returning to Hong Kong. The most extreme is a flight with a closed-loop. The crew spent about five weeks in bubbles and followed quarantine for two weeks at home.
The tightness of the quarantine rules, a pilot told AFP, had an impact on the mental health of the crew and his family. Anger which was buried during a pandemic, finally exploded last month when more than 270 people, 120 crew plus their families, were commanded into the government quarantine camp after the three pilots were declared positive at return from Germany.
The three pilots referred to as the cause of the case left their hotel room while stopping in Germany. They were then fired by Cathay Pacific.
The Director of Cathay Pacific flight operations, Chris Kempis, admitted that the pilot’s resignation rate reached the highest pace. Even so, he said the company planned to recruit workers next year.
In a statement, Cathay Pacific stated subject to the rules of the Hong Kong government. “We understand that this rule and the duration that must be followed weighed on our air crew. Everything becomes an example in their behavior and professionalism during this difficult time,” said Kempis.
The airline stated that the pilot who felt he was not good enough to fly could refuse to work without the threat of sanctions and be protected by law. In fact, the pilot must spend time outside the house for months.
A commercial aircraft pilot claimed he could not meet his family abroad for more than 20 months because of the quarantine policy and his need to continue to work, considering his salary was drastically reduced. He felt the Hong Kong leader had long ignored the idea that the city was an international hub to fulfill orders from the north, namely Beijing.
“I love Hong Kong, but if we will move without a way to go out like this, then what do I do here?” He said. “I can no longer stay a year longer than this,” he said again.
A cargo pilot also plans to resign in the next six months and look for work abroad. At present, airlines in the Middle East and North America are opening vacancies.
“I’ve stayed at a hotel to finish insulation for 12 days,” he said. “We were really very tired of this.”
Since the pandemic spread and hit the global aviation sector, Cathay Pacific received hand funds from the Hong Kong government. Many pilots are maintained, but they must sign a new contract stating their salary is cut in half.
The pilots are now worrying about Hong Kong’s future as the busiest transportation hub in Asia. Many multinational companies began moving their business base to another place. FedEx, for example, began to relocate their Hong Kong pilot last month to California because of quarantine rules.
British Airways also temporarily stopped the flight because several crews were obliged to isolate themselves in government facilities. “When the airline transfers their infrastructure, such as technicians, land officers, and Believe me, they will not return, “said a pilot.
Even so, the Hong Kong Transportation Department did not answer the request of response to the reputation of Hong Kong threatened. “We will review the rules of quarantine for the airline crew and when they are in time,” said a department spokesman.