Hong Kong’s flagship carrier Cathay Pacific has fired two pilots over incidents connected to the city’s anti-government protests.

“Cathay Pacific wishes to make it clear that we express no view whatsoever on the subject matter of any ongoing proceedings,” the company said.”Cathay Pacific reiterates that it abides by the rules and regulations of all regulators that have jurisdiction over us.”

Cathay Pacific.
Cathay Pacific. File photo: Max Pixel.

One of them was arrested and charged for rioting in Sheung Wan on July 28.

The other second officer was sacked for misusing company information on flight CX216 on Monday. On that day, the airport announced that all flights would be cancelled after 6pm, following protests at the airport.

On Monday evening, a user of the Reddit-like LIHKG forum posted a photo apparently taken on the flight, which read “We have reviewed the situation and now confirm all departure can be released. Pls proceed ops as normal.”

The user said in the post that people who have left work, left the airport, or gone to have dinner, should return to the airport. The user – thought to be the Cathay pilot in question – appeared to be alluding to the sit-in protests which had brought flights to a halt.

Cathay Pacific pilot
Photo: LIHKG.

The company warned this week that staff could be fired if they “support or participate in illegal protests,” after China’s aviation regulator required Cathay to submit staff lists on flights to the mainland or travelling through its airspace.

Earlier on Wednesday, Cathay Pacific had issued a statement to support the government.

“[W]e would like to reiterate our firm support for the Hong Kong SAR Government, the Chief Executive and the Police in their efforts to restore law and order,” it said.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.