Cathay Pacific Pilots Warned Against Slow Taxiing

Cathay Pacific Pilots Warned Against Slow Taxiing

DALLAS — Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific (CX) has warned its pilots to end a new practice of taxiing at slower speeds at Chek Lap Kok International Airport (HKG) in a memo leaked to the South China Morning Post.

The allegations emerged after management from the airline began to time how long the CX aircraft took to taxi to the gate after landing at HKG. The results were then compared with other airlines, and it was found that CX pilots appeared to be taxiing at much slower speeds.

Cathay Pacific Pilots. Photo: Cathay Pacific.

Changes to Pay to Blame?

The move is believed to have stemmed from a change in CX’s pilot’s pay and conditions. Following the pandemic, pilots pay changed from being based on expected flight time to actual flight time, including taxiing time. This led to speculation that the pilots may have been taxiing more slowly to bump their wages.

The leaked memo states, “Should cases be identified where individual aircraft are taxiing at speeds below the average of others in the same time frame, then we will follow up with the relevant commander and then take any further action that may be required.”

Cathay Pacific (B-HNC) Boeing 777-200. Photo: Iain Marshall/Airways.

HKG Investigates

HKG airport operator, Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK), added, “The Airport Authority advised us that their data indicated that some Cathay Pacific aircraft were taxiing at a considerably slower speed than other operators for both arrivals and departures. Our own Hong Kong airport team has confirmed that they have tracked similar instances in their own systems.”

However, the union that represents CX pilots dismissed the accusations. Instead, they blame poor morale within the airline and that the extra five or ten minutes taxiing time would not earn the crews any significant additional funds. “This is why pilots have left and continue to leave. Until the company is ready to work with pilot representatives to address these issues, little will change,” the union said.

Featured Image: Airbus A350-900 Cathay Pacific (B-LRL). Photo: Lorenzo Giacobbo/Airways.

European Deputy Editor
Writer, aviation fanatic, and Airways European Deputy Editor, Lee is a plant geek and part-time Flight Attendant for a UK-based airline. Based in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

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