Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }
Coronavirus information
Coronavirus information
The Zero Canada Project provides resources to help you make the most of staying home.
Visit the hub

A passenger walks to the first class counter of Cathay Pacific Airways at Hong Kong Airport in Hong Kong, China, on April 4, 2018.

BOBBY YIP/Reuters

Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd will allow flight attendants to wear a surgical mask while operating mainland China flights due to concerns over the new coronoavirus, but the attendants’ union wants the measure to apply to all flights.

The coronavirus struck as millions of Chinese prepared to travel for the Lunar New Year, heightening contagion risks and posing a fresh threat to demand for the airline, which has been battered by months of sometimes violent anti-government protests in Hong Kong.

The Cathay Pacific Airways Flight Attendants Union said it had received a “tremendous” amount of emails and messages from members concerned over catching the virus given they are exposed to over 300 passengers from numerous places on a single flight.

Story continues below advertisement

“All of them are worried about the risk they are taking every time they go to work,” the union said on its Facebook page on Tuesday. “It is time for the Company to properly address their concerns and allow Cabin Crew to wear masks on all flights.”

So far, it said, the airline was not allowing cabin crew to wear masks except for Wuhan flights. The outbreak began in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

Cathay said on Wednesday it had told crew they could use their discretion and choose to wear a surgical mask while operating on mainland China flights.

Authorities have confirmed more than 300 cases of the virus in China, mostly in Wuhan where authorities on Tuesday said six people had died. The disease has spread to other parts of China, including five cases in capital Beijing.

Cases have also been confirmed in Thailand, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan, all involving people who had been to Wuhan.

CATHAY’S VIRUS FRONTLINE

Cathay said that as required by the Hong Kong health authorities, it was distributing health declaration forms and will be making face masks and antiseptic wipes available at the boarding gate to passengers travelling from Wuhan to Hong Kong.

Story continues below advertisement

“Our frontline staff are reminded to maintain good personal and environmental hygiene, and to remain alert and vigilant while being on the lookout for passengers presenting with infectious disease symptoms,” the airline said.

Cathay has already been hit by plummeting demand as a result of anti-government protests in Hong Kong, leading it to cut capacity and defer the delivery of four planes.

Shares in Cathay have fallen by 10% since the start of January as the virus has spread.

Jefferies analysts said shares in Cathay and mainland Chinese carriers could remain under pressure for some time if the coronavirus situation paralleled the 2003 SARS outbreak and cases continued to increase. That coronavirus outbreak killed nearly 800 people.

“During SARS in 2003, share prices only bottomed two months after first being recognised by the WTO on 26 Feb 2003 despite China total passenger traffic declining until June 2003,” the analysts said in a note to clients on Tuesday.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

In the interests of public health and safety, our coronavirus news articles are free for anyone to access. However, The Globe depends on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe to globeandmail.com. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.

Your subscription helps The Globe and Mail provide readers with critical news at a critical time. Thank you for your continued support. We also hope you will share important coronavirus news articles with your friends and family. In the interest of public health and safety, all our coronavirus news articles are free for anyone to access.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies