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EVA Air mulling firing New Zealand pilot for dishonesty about Taiwan travel

EVA Air will hold disciplinary committee to decide whether to fire Kiwi pilot for dishonesty

EVA Air mulling firing New Zealand pilot for dishonesty about Taiwan travel

(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — EVA Air on Tuesday (Dec. 22) announced that it will hold a disciplinary committee meeting and determine whether to terminate a cargo pilot from New Zealand after he was found to have been dishonest with health department officials during their investigation of his contact and travel history while infected with the Wuhan coronavirus.

On Tuesday afternoon, health minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced Taiwan's first confirmed local case of COVID-19 since April 12. Chen said that the local infection, Case No. 771, is a woman in her 30s who came in close contact with Case No. 765, the New Zealand pilot who had been associated with a cluster infection of pilots.

That same day, EVA Air responded to the news about its pilot by saying that it will cooperate fully with the CECC's epidemic investigation. It stated that company facilities and the aircraft involved have been disinfected.

Amid allegations that the pilot had violated epidemic prevention regulations and avoided and hindered the epidemic inquiry, the company stated that it will convene a fact-finding committee and a disciplinary committee. If he is found to have violated regulations, he will be dismissed from his position at the airline, reported CNA.

EVA Air stated that it abides by the government's epidemic prevention policy and strictly regulates its crew. The airline says that it requires its employees to strengthen mutual supervision and implementation of COVID-19 safety measures.

If any employee violates the epidemic prevention policy, they are asked to report it to the company. Corresponding sanctions will be handed out after an investigation is conducted.

EVA Air said that it will continue cooperating with authorities to improve various epidemic prevention measures, re-examine the company's standard operating procedures for coronavirus management, and devise the most rigorous of regulations.

Also on Tuesday, Taoyuan's health department announced that the pilot will be fined NT$300,000 (US$10,600) for violating the "Communicable Disease Control Act" (傳染病防治法). The health department said that the pilot must pay the fine within seven days of receiving the notice.