Air Canada crew held in Hong Kong after ‘positive’ COVID test

From the Toronto Sun – Link to source story – Thanks MB

The four-person cargo plane crew were detained Sept. 9 after a pilot allegedly tested positive for COVID-19

By Bryan Passifiume  •  Sep 13, 2021

An Air Canada 787 passenger plane takes off at Pearson International Airport on Jan. 24, 2021.
An Air Canada 787 passenger plane takes off at Pearson International Airport on Jan. 24, 2021. PHOTO BY JACK BOLAND /Postmedia Network

Air Canada is working with the Canadian government to secure the release of members of a  flight crew detained last week in Hong Kong.

An internal memo obtained by the Sun, dated Sept. 10, said the four-person flight crew of an Air Canada cargo flight was detained by Chinese authorities last Thursday after one of the pilots allegedly tested positive for COVID-19 — despite testing negative before leaving Canada.

“Rest assured, Air Canada is working with all stakeholders, including the Canadian government, to facilitate an expeditious return of this crew to Canada,” said the memo, which was obtained by the Toronto Sun.

Sources said Chinese authorities are holding the crew in a government facility, and that officials from Canada’s Consulate General in Hong Kong are now involved in securing their release.

Global Affairs Canada confirmed they’re aware of the situation.

“Consular officials are in contact with local authorities and are providing consular assistance to the affected individuals,” a GAC spokesperson told the Sun.

“Consular officials will continue to monitor their health and well-being closely.”

An Air Canada spokesperson said pilot’s viral load was low, and was asymptomatic during the flight.

“The pilot was fully vaccinated and had received a negative PCR test result prior to leaving Canada,” the spokesperson said, adding the three other pilots subsequently tested negative.

“Because of the new government-imposed restrictions in Hong Kong, all four crew members need to quarantine.

Those restrictions also prompted Air Canada to, effective Monday, end all direct service to Hong Kong with future flights routed with a crew stopover in Seoul.

Regulations in Hong Kong mandate a minimum quarantine for 21 days.

A spokesperson for the Air Canada Pilots Association declined to comment.

Source: https://canadianaviationnews.wordpress.com/2021/09/14/air-canada-crew-held-in-hong-kong-after-positive-covid-test/

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