Cathay Pacific apparently stopped at least three groups of cabin crews that worked on airplanes with emergency oxygen cylinders that were only intended to be used in the event of decompression. , were found empty or partially exhausted. No one has been held responsible for the three separate incidents and it is not yet known whether the oxygen cylinders were emptied in a deliberate criminal act or by accident.
Last week, a Hong Kong-based air group claimed it was "very serious" and launched an investigation after two of its planes were opened at Toronto's Pearson Airport with empty oxygen bottles. Of the 22 bottles on each aircraft, eight were found empty on one and five on the other or partially empty.
A few days later it was discovered that a bottle of oxygen crew on a Cathay Dragon plane parked overnight at the Hong Kong International Airport was found empty. The bottles had apparently been checked by the crew before arriving in Hong Kong during the previous flight from Bali, and at that point everyone was full.
According to the South China Morning Post, the airline sent a staff memo Monday detailing a number of new security processes in light of recent incidents. In addition to the improved but relatively correct in-flight safety checks, which are carried out at least every 60 minutes ̵
Security procedures include enhanced ex-ante inspections of emergency equipment such as oxygen cylinders, medical equipment, smoke hoods and torches.
It is also reported that flight attendants who operated flights where oxygen bottles were empty, suspended pending the outcome of an investigation led by Hong Kong police as well as civil aviation authorities in Hong Kong and mainland China.
A leaking internal note simply states that the cabin crew in question will delete their lists and be replaced by an "Obligation to be appointed" – insiders say this is the code for this
In a statement, an airline spokesman confirmed, that cabin crew would not fly until the investigation was completed. Other workers, including ground staff, engineers and third-party suppliers such as catering establishments, are also under scrutiny by investigators.
A spokesman said of the new security regime:
"Recently, we have further strengthened our security measures to include now. pre-flight, on-the-fly and after-check checks for each flight to ensure that all emergency equipment is serviceable so that the safety of our crew and passengers is maintained at all times. "
Cathay Pacific has been under intense scrutiny in recent weeks because of anti-government protests that have swept Hong Kong. The airline is targeted by Beijing for apparent exposure to flight safety as staff support the protests. Initially, Cathay did not oppose her employees to speak, but has since led a restriction at the behest of Chinese authorities.