Safety matters

At Cathay Pacific, we believe in the importance of focusing on safety procedures. In order for us to pursue and maintain our commercial activities in a sustainable manner, we manage the risks to the operation to a level that is ‘As Low As Reasonably Practicable’ (ALARP). We are one of the first airlines to implement a Fatigue Risk Management System (FRMS).

Our Safety Policy, signed by the Chief Executive Officer, clearly articulates our commitment to managing the risks of our operation. The policy states that “safety is our number-one priority”, and that we are “fully committed to providing a safe operational and working environment” for all our passengers and staff. It goes on to state that the “ultimate accountability rests with me as Chief Executive Officer. However, responsibility for safety lies with each and every one of us in the airline”.

We strongly believe that our well-developed and deeply embedded proactive safety systems play a large role in delivering our desired results. In this past year, we have undergone developments that showcase our ability to meet our exacting standards. These efforts are ongoing as we continuously strive to improve and to build on what we have already achieved.

What our stakeholders think

Our stakeholders continue to view the safety of our operations, and health and safety of our customers and staff as priority issues. The consistent message we have been receiving over the years is that both staff and passengers regard Cathay Pacific as having good safety performance, records and contingency plans, with strong emphasis on passenger and staff safety. In particular, staff are proud of the safety culture at Cathay Pacific and feel that the company is able to communicate safety issues clearly and effectively.

Performance update


from 2013 onwards.

0“high risk” incidents

in 2016.


passengers travelled with us in 2016.


caused by operational incidents or accidents.

Recognition as a

in the 2016 Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre (JACDEC) airline safety ranking.


IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA)

In 2014, Cathay Pacific became one of the first airlines to pass the enhanced International Air Transport Association (IATA) Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) with no findings. The total accident rate for IOSA carriers in 2015 was significantly lower than the rate for non-IOSA operators. As such, IOSA has become a global standard. The enhanced audit ensures conformity through ongoing biennial audits, implementation of IOSA standards and reliability through the integrity of their internal quality assurance programmes against a highly standardised audit.

Both Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon successfully renewed their IOSA accreditations in 2016.

Ensure the Safety of Airbus A350-900 Entry into Service

Cathay Pacific proactively managed the operational and safety risks associated with the entry into service of this brand new aircraft type from 2014 to its use for the first flight in 2016. Cathay became the first airline to deploy its pilots to fly both the Airbus A330 and A350 under a single licence. A full safety risk assessment, approved by the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department (HK CAD), was completed and approved for this activity. As a brand new aircraft type to the operation, Cathay teams continue to monitor closely its safety and reliability.

Fatigue Risk Management System (FRMS) Initiatives in 2016

In 2016, studies were conducted to answer specific operational questions. There was also an increased internal communication as Cathay Pacific served on international fatigue forums and taskforces. The FRMS continues to mature and evolve.

Fatigue-related safety risks were identified via fatigue reporting (Air Safety Reports – Fatigue (ASR-Fs)), and extensive analysis using fatigue software (FAST). As a result, changes were made to rostering practices for both Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon to mitigate these risks. In addition to these routine processes, the FRMS conducted studies to answer specific operational questions. For example, a series of flight patterns were trialled and studied by the FRMS throughout 2016, one of which was approved for continued operation.

Tailored crew communications continued via the FRMS Bulletin, a regular newsletter to update crew on FRMS activities, for Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon. An FRMS article also appeared in the 2016 issue of the Group Safety Magazine regarding a study conducted in 2015 on the ability to assess fatigue levels using wrist-worn devices.

Cathay Pacific’s FRMS experience is much sought after by industry groups. In 2016, the Group Safety Manager – FRMS continued to serve on the Management Committee of the International FRMS Forum and on the IATA FRMS Taskforce, including presenting on behalf of the IATA FRMS Task Force at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Symposium on Fatigue Management Approaches.

Cathay Pacific is one of the industry leaders in FRMS, and we will continue to develop and mature the FRMS throughout 2017 and beyond.