Poses an Ongoing Risk to US Air Carrier Pilots and Crew by Forcing “Close Contact” Crews to Quarantine Upon Arrival at a Government Quarantine Camp
UNITED STATES, February 27, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — ALPA pilots have worked stoically throughout the pandemic to ensure the vital flow of goods and people, including, recently, global distribution of the vaccine itself. It is important that all governments cooperate to the maximum extent possible to ensure the safety of flight crews, and minimize intrusion on the liberty of personnel operating international flights.
Unfortunately, Hong Kong’s actions with respect to coronavirus-related air crew quarantines are inconsistent with an understanding with the US and pose an ongoing risk to US air carrier pilots and crew by forcing “close contact” crews to quarantine upon arrival at a government quarantine camp. Nonstop flights from the US involve crew layovers, but Hong Kong’s actions render nonstops untenable, putting US carriers at an arbitrary, unfair disadvantage.
These actions violate the US-Hong Kong Air Service Agreement. The implementation of new quarantine rules may worsen Hong Kong’s treatment of US air crew relative to other countries’ air crews. For the reasons discussed herein, we respectfully request that the Department limit to a period of 179 days American’s exemption request to continue codesharing with Cathay, Hong Kong’s major airline, until the Hong Kong government rectifies its treatment of US pilots and crew. By granting short term approval, the Department will have the opportunity to regularly revisit Hong Kong’s progress and compliance. Alternatively, on behalf of all of ALPA’s pilot members, we request that DOT exercise its Part 213 authority to achieve the same result.
In another arbitrary blow to U.S. carriers, the rules also include a troubling and curious carve-out for Hong Kong-based all-cargo operations to and from Anchorage, Alaska, if the crew remain in a sterile “closed-loop.” It appears that no U.S. carrier can make practical use of this exception, even those with Anchorage bases, because U.S. crews are exposed to the local Anchorage population.
Answer of ALPA to American/Cathay Pacific Codeshare Renewal: https://airlineinfo.com/ostpdf109/264.pdf
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Source: EIN Presswire