Cathay Pacific Threatens To Fire Unvaccinated Employees

Cathay Pacific Threatens To Fire Unvaccinated Employees

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As reported by the South China Morning Post, Cathay Pacific has just taken what’s probably the strictest stance we’ve seen from any airline when it comes to employee vaccination.

Cathay Pacific requiring crew vaccination

Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific has announced that all flight crews (including pilots and flight attendants) need to be vaccinated against coronavirus by August 31, 2021, or else they’ll be at risk of losing their jobs. The airline says it will “look into accommodating” those who cannot take the vaccine on a short-term basis, but in the long run employees need to be vaccinated.

Per the statement:

“We understand there will be some who cannot take a vaccine and we will look into accommodating them on a short-term basis where we can. However, we will review the future employment of those who are unable to become vaccinated and assess whether they can continue to be employed as aircrew with Cathay Pacific.”

As it stands, Cathay Pacific claims that 90% of pilots and 65% of flight attendants are already vaccinated, or have an appointment to be vaccinated. By the way, I find it interesting that the percentage of vaccinated pilots is so much higher than the percentage of vaccinated flight attendants. It’s my understanding that in the United States a higher percentage of flight attendants than pilots are vaccinated (I’ll let others guess as to why that is).

This isn’t the first time that Cathay Pacific has warned that vaccination may be compulsory for employees in the future, but this is the first time that a formal date has been given, and that the repercussions of not getting vaccinated have been put in such clear terms.

Cathay Pacific is requiring crew vaccination

How does this compare to other airlines?

The airline industry at large has been focused on encouraging employees to be vaccinated as much as possible, for a variety of reasons:

  • Vaccination not only reduces the risk of getting coronavirus, but also reduces the risk of passing it on to others, so it’s a way to protect employees and customers
  • We may start to see many international destinations require vaccination, so an airline as international as Cathay Pacific needs to be on top of that
  • The logistics of flight crews testing positive for coronavirus while on a trip gets really complicated; for example, if a pilot tests positive for coronavirus during a layover, a flight may have to be canceled, and the rest of the crew may have to quarantine due to potential exposure

Up until now, most airlines have stopped short of outright requiring existing employees to get vaccinated, presumably over legal concerns. To give a sense of what we’ve seen from other airlines:

So while other airlines have taken some measures, Cathay Pacific is in a league of its own among global airlines. I don’t know of any other major airline that has stated that existing crews must get vaccinated, or else they could be terminated.

Cathay Pacific is taking a strict position on employee vaccination

Bottom line

Cathay Pacific is essentially requiring that all pilots and flight attendants get vaccinated by August 31, 2021. Those who don’t get vaccinated will have their future employment with the company “reviewed,” which is a pretty clear threat of termination.

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  1. Les Parker Guest

    That makes it my last flight with CX it seems. I’m sure they’ll want passengers vaccinated too! Forcing people to do anything medical against their will should be illegal but we don’t live in a fair world anymore. Airlines might just be shocked at how many previous passengers won’t be flying in the future. Let’s hope so.

  2. Aristotele Guest

    I don't like Cathay but I don't understand why this article is pointing its finger against it when this is happening also in the other airlines such as Hong Kong Airlines. It's not an airline requirement but is a government and airport authority requirement. According the new rules nobody can enter the restricted areas of Hong Kong Intl. Airport without having the full vaccination or a negative test result (which can be practical only for...

    I don't like Cathay but I don't understand why this article is pointing its finger against it when this is happening also in the other airlines such as Hong Kong Airlines. It's not an airline requirement but is a government and airport authority requirement. According the new rules nobody can enter the restricted areas of Hong Kong Intl. Airport without having the full vaccination or a negative test result (which can be practical only for those that may need to enter the area time to time) how an airline can fly if their staff can't enter the airport? Anyway thousands of people are losing their job because of the majority of hong kongers don't want to get the vaccine, pretty ridiculous when they look for other countries to help them to fight for the freedom, they should learn first how to cooperate with the rest of the World before to seek for help.

  3. SullyofDoha Guest

    It's all of our civic duty to get the vaccine. Full stop.

  4. Indopithecus Guest

    Cathay Pacific is doing what every single airline should be doing. We are living in a new era now. Adapt or go extinct.

  5. BOSflyer Guest

    @Milo should have his head checked, something seems off.

  6. Milo Guest

    The Hong Kong (or soon-to-be-called Xianggang) government is pushing hard to drive up the vaccination rate. A large percentage of the populace don't trust the Chinese made Sinovac vaccine (or the government in general) after multiple people died shortly after getting jabbed, but of course any link to the Sinovac vaccine was downplayed by the government. This general mistrust of the government also impacts people trusting the German made Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which is distributed by...

    The Hong Kong (or soon-to-be-called Xianggang) government is pushing hard to drive up the vaccination rate. A large percentage of the populace don't trust the Chinese made Sinovac vaccine (or the government in general) after multiple people died shortly after getting jabbed, but of course any link to the Sinovac vaccine was downplayed by the government. This general mistrust of the government also impacts people trusting the German made Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which is distributed by a mainland Chinese company.

    In the current vaccination push, most major service-oriented companies in the territory -- transportation, retail, hospitality, you name it -- are pressured to have plans to force their employees to be vaccinated. Cathay Pacific is certainly no exception. The political climate is so toxic that no company would risk being targeted by the pro-Communist China red mob.

  7. James Forsyth Guest

    It’ll be interesting to see if they also [as good as] mandate “booster” anti-Covid jabs - here in the U.K. we’re told that these are likely to be on offer this autumn.

  8. Anastasia Guest

    If you don't like your employer forcing you to get vaccinated, get another job :) Just like, if you don't like the low minimum wage you get paid, go get another job :) :)

  9. Jerry Gold

    I would imagine Cathy Pacific pilots don't spend a substantial amount of their free time watching Newsmax, OAN, and Fox News, so they wouldn't have any reason to not get vaccinated.

    1. Milo Guest

      The majority of the population in HK (around 60%) despise the local government. It has nothing to do with Newsmax, OAN, and Fox News.

      Bet you probably don't know that.

      But keep living in the bubble created by New York Times, Washington Post and CNN. The real world is too dangerous and complex for you; you just aren't woke enough to know it. The left is destroying this country as we speak using the exact...

      The majority of the population in HK (around 60%) despise the local government. It has nothing to do with Newsmax, OAN, and Fox News.

      Bet you probably don't know that.

      But keep living in the bubble created by New York Times, Washington Post and CNN. The real world is too dangerous and complex for you; you just aren't woke enough to know it. The left is destroying this country as we speak using the exact same playbook the Chinese Communist Party used to decimate mainland China half a century ago with the Cultural Revolution, and they can do that because they are willingly enabled by people like you, cheering along the way.

    2. Jan Guest

      Spoken like a true Huffpost/Washington Post/CNN afficionado. First line of attack is "hurr durr Faux News"

  10. derek Guest

    I need my hair cut. One place says all staff is vaccinated. Another has no mention. I am going to the first place eventually.

  11. KEVIN Guest

    My cousin was in a test pilot program in the Air Force. While he’s not from the South, most of his classmates are. And we know what the vaccination rate is from the South in US. This explains why US pilots have lower vaccination rate compare to flight attendants.

    1. tom Guest

      A lot of pilots have military backgrounds, not necessarily from the south. I think that breeds a lot of mistrust with these vax programs. Pilots are largely not public facing, so they may feel it isn't as necessary. They are also better paid and I would assume less racially diverse which also points in the direction of right leaning and less likely to get vaxxed.

  12. Gary Skew Guest

    Cathay pilots are largely expats. Flight Attendants are largely locals.
    Look at the vax rate in HK. It's available to everyone over 12 with a choice of vaccines, but the rate is approx 20%.
    The locals are rejecting the vaccine to 'wait and see' or as a protest against the govt.

  13. Johan Guest

    I know that alot off people get vaccinated and after the vaccines they are positive. No one can forse anyone to do the vaccine, it is your own free will. And don't bring fear into people's lives, because y are afraid. Rather fear GOD my dear people, the time is right here and make sure your life right now is right with God and forget about all these garbage that's happening in the world. The...

    I know that alot off people get vaccinated and after the vaccines they are positive. No one can forse anyone to do the vaccine, it is your own free will. And don't bring fear into people's lives, because y are afraid. Rather fear GOD my dear people, the time is right here and make sure your life right now is right with God and forget about all these garbage that's happening in the world. The fight is not against flesh and blood, the fight is against the spiritual forces out there ok, all you people do is back byting each other instead off loving each other, but it the desire that battles within a person that's why the world is so upside down, because we as a human race do not obey the commandments off GOD so we all fall short. It's time we open up our eyes and klear our hearts so we can see again, and stop talking. Maybe y should listen and go on your knees and start praying. Thankyou

    1. derek Guest

      Correct. No vaccine is foolproof. The Pfizer vaccine might be 88-95% effective (12% ineffective) after 2 doses and as low as 33% effective after one dose. Sinovac is significantly lower effectiveness.

      Also that is wrong. God gives you a brain. It is wrong to jump out of a plane without a parachute and say that God will save you.

    2. magice Gold

      I don't understand this kind of thinking.

      I know of people driving carefully but still getting into accidents. Does that mean that these people should tell their employers, "yo, driving is dangerous, so I won't drive; you bring your factory to me"? Or should these people start driving recklessly because, you know, even careful driving has accidents? None of these make sense, of course. Neither is refusal to vaccinate because "vaccine is not 100% effective."...

      I don't understand this kind of thinking.

      I know of people driving carefully but still getting into accidents. Does that mean that these people should tell their employers, "yo, driving is dangerous, so I won't drive; you bring your factory to me"? Or should these people start driving recklessly because, you know, even careful driving has accidents? None of these make sense, of course. Neither is refusal to vaccinate because "vaccine is not 100% effective." So you drive like a fiend because careful driving is not 100% protective? So you don't take medicine when sick because no medicine is 100% effective?

      About spirit. Sigh.

      There was an old joke. A priest was on a sinking ship. A fisherman came by and offered help, but the priest turned the fisherman away, because "God will care for me." A while later, a Coast Guard ship patrolled by, and again the priest refused help on the same ground. Yet a while later, a chopper flew by, and the priest again refused help. The ship sunk, and the priest (being such a good believe) went to heaven. He then asked God, "why didn't you care for me?" God replies, "well, I sent a ship, then a warship, then a freaking chopper; what else do you want me to do?"

      Same thing here. If you truly believe God takes care of you, take the vaccine. That's His care. This pandemic could have been SARS, before we had all fancy techs like mRNA and vector virus vaccines. But no, it waited. So you have good vaccines. Why are you refusing? Because God didn't send an angel down from heaven with the shots on a silver tray? Whom do you think you are? Noah?

      Vaccination *is* caring. Masking up *is* caring. What else would you do to show your care? Take actions that put people in danger? Take actions that put yourself in danger so that you will tie up critical health care facility? Spread misinformation to create confusion, which causes people to put themselves in danger? These are not at all caring. These are selfish. Stop being so selfish.

    3. Commenting Commenter Guest

      Well said!

    4. Commenting Commenter Guest

      Well said, magice!

  14. Steve Gold

    I have no issue with a company forcing their employees to get the vaccine just as i have no issue with an employee choosing not to get it. Plenty of other jobs out there right now if you don't like your employer's stance on this.

  15. Mike P Guest

    On the US pilots vs flight attendant vaccine rate thing, I've noticed that my (admittedly few) pilot friends on social media seem to skew towards the libertarian side of things. Not sure if this line of work just attracts people who look at life that way, merely my antidotal observation. Of that libertarian set, I'd say the vaccine rate is definitely lower.

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magice Gold

I don't understand this kind of thinking. I know of people driving carefully but still getting into accidents. Does that mean that these people should tell their employers, "yo, driving is dangerous, so I won't drive; you bring your factory to me"? Or should these people start driving recklessly because, you know, even careful driving has accidents? None of these make sense, of course. Neither is refusal to vaccinate because "vaccine is not 100% effective." So you drive like a fiend because careful driving is not 100% protective? So you don't take medicine when sick because no medicine is 100% effective? About spirit. Sigh. There was an old joke. A priest was on a sinking ship. A fisherman came by and offered help, but the priest turned the fisherman away, because "God will care for me." A while later, a Coast Guard ship patrolled by, and again the priest refused help on the same ground. Yet a while later, a chopper flew by, and the priest again refused help. The ship sunk, and the priest (being such a good believe) went to heaven. He then asked God, "why didn't you care for me?" God replies, "well, I sent a ship, then a warship, then a freaking chopper; what else do you want me to do?" Same thing here. If you truly believe God takes care of you, take the vaccine. That's His care. This pandemic could have been SARS, before we had all fancy techs like mRNA and vector virus vaccines. But no, it waited. So you have good vaccines. Why are you refusing? Because God didn't send an angel down from heaven with the shots on a silver tray? Whom do you think you are? Noah? Vaccination *is* caring. Masking up *is* caring. What else would you do to show your care? Take actions that put people in danger? Take actions that put yourself in danger so that you will tie up critical health care facility? Spread misinformation to create confusion, which causes people to put themselves in danger? These are not at all caring. These are selfish. Stop being so selfish.

5
Jerry Gold

I would imagine Cathy Pacific pilots don't spend a substantial amount of their free time watching Newsmax, OAN, and Fox News, so they wouldn't have any reason to not get vaccinated.

4
BOSflyer Guest

@Milo should have his head checked, something seems off.

3
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