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Airlines to ground pilots who watch World Cup

2014-06-17 11:00 Global Times Web Editor: Li Yan

Many Chinese airlines have forbidden pilots and other employees from staying up late to watch World Cup matches over flight safety concerns.

As China is 11 hours ahead of host city Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, most matches kick off at midnight or early morning Beijing Time.

The extreme time difference has airlines worried their planes will be manned by drowsy pilots the next day.

Shanghai-based carrier Spring Airlines is discouraging employees from staying up late for matches with mandatory blood pressure exams to check for fatigue.

Those who fail the tests will be suspended immediately.

"We're not saying that we do not allow employees to watch the matches, we're only making sure that it doesn't affect flight safety," said a Spring Airlines spokesman.

China Southern Airlines has even stricter policies that forbid discussions concerning the World Cup on the job, reported the Oriental Morning Post on Monday.

Most Net users voiced support for the safety regulations, while others sympathized with their fellow soccer fans.

"The airline company should schedule shifts so employees can get a chance to watch a few matches," posted Sina Weibo user 80housikaozhe.

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