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Cathay Pacific welcomes WHO's responses on SARS and air travel

07 May 2003

Cathay Pacific Airways welcomes the joint efforts made by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in responding to frequently asked questions on SARS and air travel. The response from WHO is particularly significant, as many air travel issues have been put in perspective through its feedback.

The FAQs address many passenger concerns on air travel, including the low probability of inflight infection, air cabin environment and passenger handling procedures. According to WHO, the risk of transmission of SARS in an aircraft is very low. There have been no cases of inflight transmission since April after effective screening measures such as temperature checks at the airport were introduced by local departments of health in some of the SARS outbreak countries.

Alan Wong, General Manager Corporate Communication said, "The response from WHO is encouraging, this will help to debunk some of the public misconceptions about air travel safety as a result of the SARS outbreak. Cathay Pacific will remain vigilant and pledge to do our best to safeguard the well being of our passengers and staff. A host of precautionary health measures are already in place and we will continue to work with the authorities to stop SARS infected passengers from boarding our aircraft through a set of stringent screening procedures."

The FAQs on SARS and air travel is now available on IATA's website at http://iata.org/index.htm. The travelling public may also log on to Cathay Pacific's website at www.cathaypacific.com for the same information as well as full details on what Cathay Pacific is doing to protect our passengers and staff.