Cathay Pacific has said two of its employees caught in a set of Internet photographs apparently engaging in oral sex on board an aircraft have left the company.
The Hong Kong carrier launched an investigation last week after photographs emerged of a woman in a red outfit resembling the Cathay cabin crew uniform performing oral sex on a man, reportedly her boyfriend, on board an aircraft.
“I can confirm that two members of our crew shown in compromising situations in photographs published recently in Chinese-language daily newspapers are no longer employees of the company,” Cathay chief executive John Slosar said in a statement released late on Friday.
“I know that many people were disturbed by the damage this incident caused to the reputation of our cockpit and cabin crews,” Slosar said.
It was not clear whether the pair were sacked or resigned voluntarily, as the airline said it would not disclose details.
The airline also refused to say whether the incident took place in the plane’s cockpit, but said the investigation found no evidence to suggest the act happened on any of its flights while airborne.
Cathay said the findings of the investigation would also be submitted to the city’s aviation authorities.
“I find any behavior that recklessly soils the reputation of our company or our team members as totally unacceptable,” Slosar added.
The photos prompted action from the Hong Kong flagship carrier after they were circulated on an online forum for pilots and later attracted the attention of local media.
The unidentified man in the photo, was reported to be a pilot but was not wearing a Cathay pilot’s uniform, has reportedly told a local newspaper that the photos had been stolen from his personal computer.
Cathay Pacific has 13,000 staff around the world, including more than 8,000 cabin crew and 4,000 working in airports, according to its Web site.