Cathay Pacific staff warned off Hong Kong protests
Cathay Pacific has warned its more than 32,000 staff not to “support or participate in illegal protests”, as pressure over the more than two months of democracy-focused demonstrations begins to mount on the Hong Kong-based airline.
The Chinese mainland government is reportedly incensed that Cathay’s employees had been participating in the protests. Its aviation regulator has issued new rules requiring Cathay Pacific to submit manifests of staff on flights to or from the mainland, or through its airspace – with known protestors banned from those flights.
Citing the importance of its business in China and requirements to adhere to local rules, Cathay Pacific has said it will follow the new regulations,
Rupert Hogg, the airline’s CEO said that Cathay Pacific employees would also face disciplinary measures if they get involved in the pro-democracy protests.
To date, Cathay Pacific has suspended a pilot and fired two ground employees over the protests. The two ground employees sacked had allegedly leaked details of the Hong Kong police soccer team travelling to the mainland, local media have reported.
Bookings for Cathay Pacific have dropped since the start of the protest movement, and it is now facing a boycott call in mainland China. A #BoycottCathayPacific thread on Chinese social media platform Weibo attracted more than 17 million views and 8,000 comments last week.
On Wednesday, August 14, Cathay Pacific fired two pilots it had previously suspended.
One of the pilots had been arrested and charged for clashing with police and anti-government protesters. The second pilot was sacked for misusing company information related to the protests.