In a Friday letter, Joseph G. DePete, the president of the Air Line Pilots Association, asked the CEO of FedEx Corp. to halt pilot layovers in Hong Kong due to the unsafe and onerous quarantine procedures imposed upon pilots there. The Hong Kong International Airport is believed to be the busiest airport in the world for shipping traffic.
According to the letter, pilots who test positive are required to quarantine in government-mandated hospitals, which results in asymptomatic patients being crammed in with “hundreds of patients” in “cubicle-style rooms and communal bathrooms” at the AsiaWorld-Expo center. Additionally, the letter claims that pilots who even may potentially have been exposed to COVID are required to “remain in a government quarantine facility or camp for up to 14 days.”
The letter claimed that conditions in these facilities are “wholly unacceptable” and “harmful” and asked, “Until these egregious layover conditions are resolved and a safe layover environment is restored, I respectfully reinforce the FedEx MEC’s call for the suspension of pilot layovers in Hong Kong.”
Copies of the letter were also sent to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and chairpersons of the relevant congressional committees, including Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.).
After deliberately covering up the extent of the spread of the coronavirus in its early stages and disappearing numerous whistleblowers who spoke out about the government’s failure to protect its own citizens and the world at large, the Chinese government has, in an incredible display of chutzpah, attempted to convey the impression to the world that it has done a better job of halting the spread of the virus within its borders than Western governments.
The Chinese government, which has increased its control over Hong Kong dramatically in recent years, has released laughably implausible statistics regarding the spread of the coronavirus within its borders as part of an obvious propaganda campaign to humiliate the United States and other Western governments. In an attempt to distract from their own failures, officials have likewise attempted to demonstrate that their protocols are more strict than Western nations by imposing humiliating measures on foreign travelers, such as mandatory anal swabs.
The pilots for FedEx, it seems, have had enough. In the letter, DePete said, “In July, the ALPA FedEx Master Executive Council (MEC) passed a resolution calling for a suspension of the company’s operations in Hong Kong due to unacceptable conditions for ALPA members. For several months, layovers were discontinued. However, layovers were resumed in December, and we have again seen hospitalized and quarantined pilots. In January, the FedEx MEC passed another resolution calling for the cessation of layovers. Until these egregious layover conditions are resolved and a safe layover environment is restored, I respectfully reinforce the FedEx MEC’s call for the suspension of pilot layovers in Hong Kong.”