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A cargo aircraft operated by Cathay Pacific Airways at the Hong Kong International Airport. Picture: KYLE LAM/BLOOMBERG
A cargo aircraft operated by Cathay Pacific Airways at the Hong Kong International Airport. Picture: KYLE LAM/BLOOMBERG

Cathay Pacific Airways said it decided to “part company with a small number of aircrew” who chose not to receive available Covid-19 vaccines and did not provide proof of any medical exemption. 

In June, the Hong Kong-based carrier asked flight crew to be fully inoculated by the end of August or face having their employment reviewed, the South China Morning Post reported at the time. All of Cathay’s flights since September 1 have been with fully vaccinated crew, the airline said in a statement on Wednesday. 

“It’s clear to us all now that Covid-19 is a terrible virus and that keeping our customers, communities and families safe is of the utmost importance,” Cathay said. “Border controls around the world have dramatically reduced our ability to operate with unvaccinated aircrew.”

Airlines elsewhere have required staff to get vaccinated or are considering such a move. Among them, Qantas Airways stated in August that front-line employees including cabin crew, pilots and airport workers would need to be inoculated by November 15, while United Airlines Holdings became the first major US carrier to impose a vaccine mandate.

Bloomberg News. More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

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