Cathay Pacific has fired three pilots after they were infected with coronavirus in the German city of Frankfurt.
The Hong Kong airline said in a statement that an internal investigation had found that the pilots were involved in a “serious breach” of Covid-19 procedures during “overseas layovers.”
Other Cathay staff who have stayed at the same hotel in Frankfurt since November 1 have been ordered into a Hong Kong government quarantine.
“After investigation into these cases, regrettably, the findings indicate a serious breach of requirements during crew overseas layovers,” the statement said. “The individuals concerned are no longer employed by Cathay Pacific,” the statement said.
Cathay did not provide detailed descriptions of what the “serious breach” entailed.
The airline said it was continuing to review company protocols in the wake of the incident.
“The safety and well being of our customers, employees and the community remain our absolute priority,” it said.
Cathay Pacific insisted the incident was “isolated.”
“Our aircrew have been keeping our business operating and Hong Kong connected to the world throughout the pandemic,” it said.
“The professionalism, compliance and resilience of all our employees in upholding safe operations throughout this period has been exceptional and we believe these cases are isolated incidents.”
Hong Kong’s Transport and Housing Bureau described the breach as “deeply regretful.”
In a statement, the government body urged airlines to “strictly comply with the anti-epidemic regulatory requirements to prevent further incidents.
— CNN’s Wayne Chang and Pauline Lockwood contributed to this story.