Fedex has announced plans to relocate pilots based in Hong Kong overseas as a result of the territory’s tough Covid rules.
The move undermines Hong Kong’s position as a global logistics hub and reflects the longevity of its stringent quarantine measures.
“As the global business environment continues to evolve and with the pandemic requirements in Hong Kong, Fedex has made the decision to close its Hong Kong crew base and relocate its pilots,” the company said in a statement.
A memo written by system chief pilot Robin Sebasco was published in The South China Morning Post. “The decision to close the Hong Kong base reflects this constant evolution and is designed to provide a measure of stability to these team members, as there is no clear timeline when life may return to normal in Hong Kong,” Sebasco wrote.
The move came a day after Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam, confirmed that 130 Cathay Pacific pilots would be forced to quarantine for 21 days. The decision was taken because three pilots, who later tested positive for Covid, slipped through the territory’s strict border checks.
Hong Kong’s zero covid policy has cut off the international finance hub from the global community causing concerns tough quarantine rules will add to supply chain disruption. Cathay Pacific sustained heavy losses in the first half of the year and has laid off nearly 6,000 staff members since the start of the pandemic and axed a regional airline.
Fedex said the company will continue to serve customers in Hong Kong with pilots based in California.