Cathay Pacific Airways introduced strict rotation procedures under which its crew members will be required to complete 21-day shifts and take almost a month’s break afterward.
The airline introduced new rotation rules which bring the full crew duty cycle to a total of 49 days. Cathay Pacific Airways will ask their employees to work a 21-day shift and self-isolate at Cathay’s Headland Hotel once they return to Hong Kong base. Furthermore, the staff will need to take COVID-19 tests at each arrival to the city.
When the shift ends, the crew will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days in a hotel on Hong Kong Island, after that they will be put on medical surveillance for 7 days and get their 14 days off afterward.
However, the strict rules will have some exemptions. The airline will not apply quarantine restrictions for flights to China, Taiwan, Macau, and Alaska as well as for turnaround flights when the crew does not leave the aircraft and returns to Hong Kong with no passengers on board.
Speaking to local media, Ronald Lam, the Chief Customer and Commercial Officer at Cathay Pacific Airways, said that as long as Hong Kong adhered to the strict quarantine measures, the coming months for the airline would be “extremely challenging“ as the new self-isolation requirements for Cathay Pacific crew could cost up to $52 million per month.
The air carrier took new extreme measures following the updated mandatory quarantine rules for people arriving in Hong Kong. The new rotation procedures will take effect from February 20, 2021.