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Statement on Pilots' Pay Dispute by Tony Tyler

03 Jul 2001

- Good afternoon. Thank you for coming

- As of this moment, flights have been operating normally. There were two delays last night, one from Vancouver and one from Los Angeles. Neither delay seems to have been related to the AOA disruption plan.

- We understand from media reports that the AOA distributed its Hong Kong disruption plan last night. We have not seen the plan, so we cannot comment on it. Questions about the union's disruption plans are best addressed directly to John Findlay and the AOA leadership.

- We understand from media reports that Mr Findlay and the AOA leadership has announced a "go slow, work to rule" tactic. Cathay Pacific pilots are professionals who are always expected to fly carefully and comply with flight manuals and rules. Of course, the cockpit is no place for trade union activity. We will be monitoring operations very closely to determine if individual crew cross the line from flight caution to union disruption.

- For your information, pilots must check in at Hong Kong International Airport one hour and twenty minutes before a scheduled departure, and one hour before departure at other airports around the world. This time is used to check the weather, finalise the flight plan, calculate needed fuel and other tasks. A pre-flight report time of at least one hour has been the requirement at Cathay Pacific for decades. It has always provided more than adequate time for pilots to accomplish all of their required tasks - safely and thoroughly.

- Cathay Pacific will continue to monitor operations closely and will provide additional updates throughout the day.

- At most of these press conferences, we've ended ith the media asking some questions. Today, instead, I'd like to ask some questions. Some questions directed at John Findlay that you may want to ask at AOA's press briefing.

- The AOA has put off release of its disruption plan twice. Isn't it about time that Hong Kong sees it? What other tactics are they planning? How much disruption and inconvenience are they willing to impose on the public? Is it true that you said that the union would be willing to disrupt Hong Kong for "three months, six months, nine months, even a year"?

- The company offered a generous pay rise of as much as 10.5% with significant improvements in benefits and roster practices. Why did the AOA leadership reject it without allowing its members to vote on it? In fact, why didn't the AOA even schedule a meeting in advance of the deadline to consider any offer? Was the AOA leadership ever really interested in reaching an agreement?

- The AOA is taking industrial action in the second year of a three-year agreement. Why won't they live up to the deal they signed?

- In closing, let me repeat what I've said before to passengers. Disruptions, if any, will be hard to predict, so passengers should call the Cathay Pacific passenger hotline or check our Website before leaving for the airport.

- Thank you for your time. We would now be happy to respond to some questions.