Taiwan's EVA Air Says It Has Sacked Eight Staff Members Since March For Breaching COVID-19 Rules
Taiwan's EVA Airways Corp has said that it has sacked four pilots and four cabin crew since March for breaching rules related to attempting to prevent COVID-19 infections, and added that it is committed to enforcing anti-pandemic measures.
Last month, the company said that it had fired a New Zealand national who had worked as one of its pilots after the government blamed him for Taiwan's first domestic COVID-19 transmission since April 12.
The case ignited public anger after the government said that he had not reported all his contacts and the places that he had been, nor worn a face mask in the cockpit when he should have.
In a statement, EVA Air said that since March it has sacked eight employees - four pilots and four cabin crew - for "regretfully breaching anti-pandemic rules", though it did not give details.
"EVA Air always attaches great importance to discipline, and the vast majority of crew members on the frontline of duty face transportation and epidemic prevention tasks with a cautious and serious attitude," it added. "EVA Air's position on strictly following epidemic prevention has never changed."
The government has since tightened its rules for airline crew, including on quarantines when they return to Taiwan, and has also fined EVA Air $35,000 for the New Zealand pilot incident.
EVA Air, like most airlines, is operating a very reduced schedule due to border restrictions globally.
COVID-19 In Taiwan
Until last month, Taiwan had not reported domestic transmission in eight months, thanks to early and effective moves to stop the virus, including mass mask wearing and strict quarantines for all arrivals.
Taiwan has logged 795 confirmed infections, the vast majority imported, including seven deaths. A total of 127 people are currently being treated in hospital.
Wary after the domestic infection, some New Year's Eve events around Taiwan were scaled back or cancelled, and major celebrations that went ahead did so with tightened controls such as mandatory mask wearing.