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Pilot Union Of FedEx Call On Company To Suspend Hong Kong Operations

Pilot Union Of FedEx Call On Company To Suspend Hong Kong Operations
The United States based package delivery company, FedEx Corp, was urged by the union that represents its pilots to temporarily suspend all operations to Hong Kong after it was reported that some of the pilots of the company, who are also members of the union, were put through “extremely difficult conditions” in mandatory government quarantine implemented at reducing the possibility of spread of the novel coronavirus.
Authorities in Hong Kong had forced three FedEx pilots infected with the novel coronavirus to stay in government quarantine facilities for up to 10 days, said the pilots’ representative union, the Air Line Pilots Association International (ALPA).
The world’s largest pilots’ union alleged that even though a number of other pilots of the company had tested negative for the virus but had got into contact with one or more of the three infected pilots, had been put into  government camps “under extremely difficult conditions”  in Hong Kong.
“Not only do these situations pose unacceptable risks to our pilots’ safety and wellbeing, but they also create added stress and distraction for flight operations,” said Dave Chase, chairman, FedEx ALPA Master Executive Council.
The company was completely engaging with government authorities and was providing support to its crew members for situations that required medical treatment or self-isolation in Hong Kong, FedEx in a statement.
This call to the company and the statement from the company comes at a time when testing and quarantine arrangements for sea on and air crew entering Hong Kong has been intensified by the authorities in the financial hub of Asia starting this Wednesday.
According to regulations, overseas crew needs to have a negative Covid-19 test 48 hours prior to boarding of flights. And when the crew lands in the city, another test for the virus would be conducted once again and the foreign crew will need to isolate and not go into the community, the government said.
In the recent past, there have been a number of incidents where aircrew had flouted quarantine rules, including a FedEx pilot who flew from Boston to Hong Kong.
On July 26, one Twitter user based in Hong Kong posted that he had met the pilot on the city’s historic Peak tram as he awaited his test results. “You are not going to believe this! An American guy got on the tram and started chatting... Said he won’t get results for two days-AND HE’S ON THE PEAK TRAM.”
ALPA quoted a one pilot who was not named because of corporate policy, saying that the crew of the company had not been given clear guidelines about what they can or cannot do while awaiting their test results after they land in Hong Kong.
The city is currently facing a critical period to contain the, said authorities in the former British colony. Strict measures such as banning of dining in restaurants and prevention of gatherings of more than two people have been imposed in the city starting Wednesday. 
Hong Kong reported 106 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, including 98 that were locally transmitted.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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