After several previous incidents, in which both Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon were affected, one more low-pressure oxygen bottle was found on a Cathay Dragon flight. As a result, the airline group terminated the contracts of two flight attendants on September 24, 2019, after an investigation regarding the events, according to the press release.
Cathay Dragon identified that one oxygen bottle on board an Airbus A330 was in a low-pressure state. The discovery was made after the A330 operated Cathay Dragon Flight KA730 from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) to Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) on September 21, 2019. The carrier has assured that “the safety of our crew and passengers” was never compromised during the flight. The aforementioned oxygen bottle was replaced prior to the next departure.
For the past month, both Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon have identified six additional cases where one or even several portable oxygen bottles were “found to be in a low pressure state”. The airline “has informed the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department (HKCAD) and the Police” about the incidents dating between August 17 and September 16, 2019.
“All affected oxygen bottles were immediately recharged and checked for serviceability by engineers prior to the next flight departures”, Cathay Pacific stated in a press release. In addition to the investigation by the HKCAD and the local police, both affected airlines have launched their internal investigation into the incidents. Cabin crews that worked on affected flights were suspended as a precautionary measure and to assist the case. Following the latest Cathay Dragon incident two flight attendants “have had their employment terminated”.
Oxygen bottles allow walking around the cabin “in the unlikely event of emergency aircraft depressurization”. They are only used by the cabin crew. “Both cabin crew and passengers have in-seat aircraft oxygen available at all times,” the airline added, noting that the in-seat oxygen supply is “independent of the portable bottles”.
Cathay Dragon has expressed that “safety and security are always our greatest priority”. It “further strengthened its security measures by imposing additional checks before, during and after flights on top of the usual pre-flight checks for all flights” to prevent such incidents from happening.