EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空) yesterday fired a pilot after he was found to have contravened COVID-19 quarantine rules before testing positive for the virus.
The pilot and his teenage son, as well as two other EVA Airways pilots, were on Thursday listed as cluster infections by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).
The three pilots were on the same flight to Chicago last month.
Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times
After the CECC tightened quarantine rules for the company’s aircrew members who had been on the Taipei-to-Chicago route, Eva Airways suspended the flights to minimize the effect of COVID-19 curbs on its personnel planning.
Preliminary contact tracing results showed that one of the pilots apparently contravened several quarantine rules after he returned from Chicago, the airline said.
Despite being required to conduct enhanced self-health management for seven days after his return, he did not stay at home, but dined with friends and visited a clinic without notifying local health authorities, the airline said.
On Saturday last week, he developed symptoms of COVID-19, but did notify the company in his pre-flight health declaration form before serving as copilot on a flight to Brisbane, Australia, on Monday, it said.
An internal disciplinary committee meeting was held at 10am yesterday, after which the company decided to fire the pilot, effective immediately, citing breaches of internal rules, as well as rules imposed by the Centers for Disease Control and the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA).
The company vowed to abide by the government’s disease prevention regulations, saying that it does not accept rule-defying behavior by its staff.
EVA Airways said it would ask all of its about 1,500 pilots to undergo polymerase chain reaction tests for COVID-19.
Separately yesterday morning, CAA Director-General Lin Kuo-shian (林國顯) said he had told EVA Airways chairman Steve Lin (林寶水) and China Airlines Ltd (中華航空) chairman Hsieh Shih-chien (謝世謙) to review the firms’ respective disease prevention practices.
As ordered by the CECC, the CAA also asked EVA Airways to ask crews who had worked the Chicago route after Aug. 21 to get tested and quarantine at home.
The agency said that 283 crew members would be affected.
Additional reporting by CNA
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