Cathay Pacific is allowing some passengers to remove their masks during a flight – as long as they are travelling business or first class.
The airline amended rules, allowing passengers with their seats in the lie flat position to sleep without their masks on.
“Seats in first and business class are more spacious with partitions, and passengers are exempted when lying flat for sleep,” the airline said in a memo to flight crew.
A flight crew union has questioned the decision, calling it risky and it may create bad feeling with economy passengers.
“Under this instruction, many crew members are worried about infecting Covid-19 after the close contact with passengers,” said Cheung Shu-wang, Chairman of the Staffs and Workers Union of Hong Kong Civil Airlines.
Cathay insists the greater amount of personal space between passengers in business and first class makes it a safer environment.
“First and business class seats are more spacious with bulkheads, and passengers are exempt when lying down flat to sleep,” a Cathay spokesperson said.
The airline made mask wearing mandatory for all passengers in May 2020 within the airport and during the flight.