Of the six instances, the latest one was identified during a routine inspection on Cathay Pacific flight CX502 which departed from Hong Kong to Osaka on 16 September. It involved a portable oxygen bottle that had its shut-off valve inadvertently opened during a routine check by cabin crew. This was also reported to HKCAD and the Police as a precautionary measure.
All affected oxygen bottles were immediately recharged and checked for serviceability by engineers prior to the next flight departures. At no point was the safety of our crew and passengers compromised.
Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon are taking these issues very seriously and have launched an internal investigation into the incidents. The investigation team also followed up with all relevant parties.
The cabin crew of all concerned flights have been suspended from flight duties to facilitate the investigation process. Those who have been fully cleared have since resumed their flight duties, while some continue to assist in the investigation.
“Running a safe and secure operation is and always will be our greatest priority. We have robust pre-flight checks in place to identify any irregularities and to ensure all emergency equipment is serviceable so that the safety of our crew and passengers is upheld at all times,” said Richard Howell, General Manager Group Safety and Operational Risk Management for Cathay Pacific Group.
“Accordingly, we have further strengthened our security measures by adding inflight and post-landing checks for all of our flights. We have communicated with our cabin crew and employees the importance of maintaining impeccable safety standards at all times. There is no compromise in this area.”
The portable oxygen bottles are for operational cabin crew use and permit crew to move around the cabin in the unlikely event of emergency aircraft depressurisation. Both cabin crew and passengers have in-seat aircraft oxygen available at all times.
Instances were identified after arrival of the following flights and before the departure of the next flights:
September 16 CX502 Hong Kong-Osaka (1 bottle out of 20, shut-off valve inadvertently opened during a routine check by cabin crew.)
September 4 KA221 Da Nang-Hong Kong (1 bottle out of 7)
September 1 KA459 Kaohsiung-Hong Kong (1 bottle out of 16)
August 30 KA361 Bali-Hong Kong (1 bottle out of 16)
August 18 CX826 Hong Kong-Toronto (8 bottles out of 22)
August 17 CX826 Hong Kong-Toronto (5 bottles out of 22)