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Cathay Pacific disappointed at UK Employment Tribunal ruling

11 Mar 2003

Cathay Pacific Airways, a Hong Kong-based airline, is disappointed with the decision reached by the UK Employment Tribunal today that to deem as appropriate the attempt by twelve former pilots to have their case heard in the UK rather than Hong Kong. While the airline is pleased that the Tribunal dismissed the claims of 6 pilots employed directly by Cathay Pacific Airways and one other employed from the United States, it remains disappointed that it has deemed admissible the claim brought by 5 pilots employed by an overseas-registered basing company.

All the pilots accepted Hong Kong employment contracts and worked under terms governed by Hong Kong employment law. Cathay Pacific believes that the appropriate place to resolve this and any similar dispute should be in Hong Kong, in a Hong Kong court under Hong Kong law.

Cathay Pacific is surprised that the UK Employment Tribunal should feel it appropriate to hear a case concerning a dispute located on the other side of the world.

A similar case brought in California was dismissed by the California Court in December 2001 and an appeal was rejected by the state's Court of Appeal in November 2002.

Cathay Pacific will consult with its lawyers as to a possible appeal of this decision as it considers that an important principle of employment law is at stake.