Cathay Pacific has confirmed it is urgently investigating after a number of crew oxygen bottles were found empty on two separate aircraft at Toronto Airport. The airline said it is taking the issue “very seriously” but would not be drawn on why or how the oxygen bottles came to become empty.
The oxygen bottles are a standard piece of equipment that allow cabin crew to move around the cabin should there be a sudden decompression. Of the 22 bottles on each aircraft, five had been affected on one aircraft and eight on another.
These bottles shouldn’t otherwise be used, except for in an emergency, so it would be unusual to have so many oxygen bottles either empty or partially empty on two separate aircraft at the same outstation airport.
Luckily, the lack of oxygen was discovered by crew boarding the aircraft as part of their standard checks. Cathay was able to get the bottles refilled and the planes departed Toronto will all safety equipment intact.
“Cathay Pacific is taking the issue very seriously and has launched an internal investigation into the matter,” the airline said in a statement.
“At no point was the safety of our crew and passengers compromised,” the statement continued.
It’s not clear how the bottles came to be discharged, although it’s unlikely (although possible) to have been by accident.
China’s civil aviation authorities have called into question Cathay’s safety record because it didn’t distance itself from anti-government protests. The airline has since cracked down on staff in order to comply with Beijing.