Cathay Pacific Airways apologizes after a staff worker leaked the flight information of a group of Hong Kong police who flew to mainland city for a soccer game.
Cathay Pacific is aware of the inappropriate behavior of an employee involving the misuse of company information during work hours, the airline said in a statement send to the Global Times on Wednesday.
The company expresses "sincere apologies for this issue," and are conducting an internal investigation, the company said.
Flight information of a Hong Kong police soccer team that flew to Chengdu in Southwest China's Sichuan Province was spread online, posts and pictures circulated online on Tuesday showed. The team arrived Chengdu on Tuesday.
"Dirty cops are going to play soccer," an apparent Cathay Pacific staff member said in a Whatsapp group chat, encouraging others to harass the police officers.
Chinese Net users were shocked at these "vicious behaviors" after the case was released on Wednesday morning. Some even called for a boycott of Cathay Pacific.
"It is not only a matter of professional ethics. It's also illegal! Any company with such behaviors should be severely punished," said a Net user on Sina Weibo.
"That is terrible. Those who divulge passengers' personal information should be put into prison! I will never take their flights anymore," said another netizen whose comment received lots of likes.
"Leaking passengers' private information is illegal rather than just immoral. Cathay Pacific should make immediate moves once the matter is verified," Qi Qi, an independent market watcher told the Global Times on Wednesday.
Cathy Pacific has been in hot water since July, after its trade union representing Cathay Pacific's cabin crew called for a protest at the Hong Kong International Airport on July 26.
Then, the news emerged that a Cathay Pacific pilot who was arrested on July 28 during the unrest was still being allowed to fly. This sparked great security concerns and distrust among the public.
Letting a pilot who participated in violent riots fly a plane is like giving him a "big weapon," Lam Chi-ting, general secretary of the Hong Kong Tourism Industry Employees General Union, told the Global Times. "We all remember the 9/11 attacks, right?"
The airline should reassure its customers by timely rolling out potential safety concerns and infringement of passengers' rights and interests, Qi added.