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Cathay Pacific Launches Investigation on Tampered Emergency Oxygen

Cathay Pacific Launches Investigation on Tampered Emergency Oxygen
Jeff Edwards

Cathay Pacific officials say an investigation has been launched after tampering involving the portable oxygen bottles of two empty planes was discovered on the ground in Toronto. The airline says passengers were never at risk and the discharged emergency oxygen tanks were identified as part of routine preflight checks.

Cathay Pacific has admitted that the emergency oxygen bottles on two separate planes were found to have been emptied earlier this month. The evidence of tampering was discovered on the two planes while on the ground at Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ).

“Cathay Pacific confirms that a number of portable oxygen bottles stored onboard two of its aircraft were found to be discharged or partially discharged while the aircraft were on the ground prior to departure in Toronto,” the airline told the Bangkok Post in a statement. “Cathay Pacific is taking the issue very seriously and has launched an internal investigation into the matter.”

The airline says, however, that there is absolutely no way passengers could have been impacted by the apparent case of sabotage. A Cathay spokesperson told Air Transport World that the carrier “identified the issue prior to departure during its routine inspections that it carries out before every flight.” According to the Cathay official, the tampered oxygen bottles “were immediately recharged and checked for serviceability by engineers prior to their flights.”

The South China Morning Post reports that the discharged emergency oxygen bottles were discovered before flights preparing to depart YYZ for Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) on both August 17th and August 18th. In one case, five bottles had been discharged; in the other case, eight bottles had been emptied. Both aircraft were said to be Boeing 777-300ER equipment carrying 22 portable oxygen bottles each.

Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific had been drawn into the very center of growing anti-government protests in recent weeks. A number of the airline’s top executives resigned earlier this month—reportedly in defiance of government demands to supply the names of employees participating in the protests and accompanying labor actions. More recently, the carrier fired a number of crew members who reportedly participated in protest actions—resulting in a growing mistrust and tensions between managers and the airline’s workforce.


[Featured Image: Cathay Pacific]

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