Probe into claims of airport staff leaks

Top News | Stella Wong 19 Aug 2019

The Airport Authority is investigating allegations that its staff leaked information on operations last Tuesday when the airport was paralyzed by protesters.

But it denied that any of its employees obstructed police from carrying out their duty.

The authority said it noticed a widely circulated photo of a suspected employee leaking airport operation and security measures last Tuesday.

"If it is verified that any staff member of the Airport Authority engaged in inappropriate behavior, such as leaking the details of operation and security, the authority will take the issue seriously and it will not tolerate such behavior," it said.

This comes after a screen capture of a Telegram app conversation in which an employee wrote that many police officers were inside the restricted area, while most police outside stayed around the authority's counter.

"The authority did not cancel the flights. Passengers were boarding inside [the restricted area]. They ignored passengers outside."

The authority said its employees and security officers handled the situation and assisted affected passengers.

It clarified that the person who obstructed police officers from the terminals in an online photo was not its security officer.

Meanwhile, Cathay Pacific yesterday said it is conducting an internal probe of a letter claiming to be written by its employees that China is targeting the airliner to conduct political suppression.

"It forced the airliner to fire employees who support protesters with an excuse of 'aviation safety,' destroyed freedom of speech by spreading white terror, forced the company to take a stance and requested senior management to 'resign,' the letter said.

The letter came after the airliner announced on Friday the resignations of chief executive Rupert Hogg to take responsibility for recent events and its chief customer and commercial officer, Paul Loo Kar-pui.

Hong Kong's flag carrier said it cannot confirm the authenticity of the letter, but it is "taking the matter very seriously."

Augustus Tang Kin-wing, a director and chief executive of Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company, will succeed Hogg.

Loo will be replaced by Ronald Lam Siu-por, the HK Express chief executive.

In another incident at the airport, about 50 ground staff and cabin crew members of Hong Kong Airlines took leave yesterday against the airliner's decision to fire an employee who expressed his opinion on the extradition saga.

The company did not confirm if such a strike occurred yesterday or whether it affected normal operations.

"We focused on delivering a smooth operation and offering our best services," it said. "Our staff will also uphold the highest level of professionalism to serve our customers at all times."

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