Today, China Airlines announced that it would take strong action against a co-pilot who violated the company COVID-19 rules by going out to play a round of golf. The airline says that the pilot is currently under investigation. If the investigation proves that he did break the quarantine rules, he could be suspended or even possibly terminated.
The so-far unnamed pilot flew a China Airlines cargo plane from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) on November 13. According to China Airlines rules, he was required to self-isolate for three days, but two days into the quarantine, he decided to play golf.
Stay informed: Sign up for our daily aviation news digest.
China Airlines has stringent rules
In a statement seen by The China Post, China Airlines says that it fully cooperates with the Central Epidemic Command Center’s coronavirus regulations. This includes flight personnel using individual passageways after landing and ferrying them to quarantine hotels with assigned cars.
Each flight crew member is given their own room where they must remain until the three-day quarantine period is up. While isolating, temperatures are taken each day to help confirm that they were not infected while abroad. China Airlines also says that it monitors CCTV cameras and hotel access keys to track employee movements.
According to reports, the co-pilot in question has admitted breaking the self-isolation rules. A panel is now being assembled to discuss what further action to take. The same co-pilot is also accused of visiting a busy shopping mall three days after the quarantine period ended following a cargo flight to Taiwan from Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) in Alaska.
EVA Air fired a pilot
Following the three-day quarantine period, flight crew are allowed to leave their homes but are discouraged from visiting locations where there might be many people. Flight crew must also wear a mask at all times when out mixing with the general public.
China Airlines’ main Taiwanese competitor EVA Air recently fired a pilot from New Zealand after lying about having the coronavirus. It turned out that the EVA Air pilot was responsible for the county’s first domestic COVID-19 transmission in eight months.
Despite having a population of nearly 24 million, the number of deaths in Taiwan related to the coronavirus can be counted on two hands. The island nation’s success is mainly because it has cut itself off from the rest of the world; a similar way to how Australia and New Zealand used their geographic insularity as a defense against the pandemic. However, the harsh rules have a massive economic impact, yet they are unlikely to waiver until the entire population has been vaccinated.
The co-pilot broke the rules
Regarding the co-pilot, he was fully aware of the rules, and yet like so many people in today’s society, he decided that they did not apply to him. A bit like Boris Johnsons’ former Chief Adviser Dominic Cummings driving 30 miles to Barnard Castle to test his vision during a nationwide UK lockdown.
As for the co-pilot, playing golf, he probably wasn’t putting other people in danger, but it was a breach of the rules. Because of this, he will probably get fired to be an example to other China Airlines employees.
What do you think about what the co-pilot did? Is it a sackable offense, or should he get a slap on the wrist? Please tell us what you think in the comments.