Cathay Pacific has suspended an upcoming ad campaign that promised its crews would "go the extra mile to make you feel special" after photos were posted online showing a pilot and flight attendant engaged in a sex act in a cockpit. The male pilot and female f/a, whose names were not released by the airline, were apparently in uniform, though the pilot had a sweater on. The airline said it does not believe the airplane was flying at the time. Both employees are no longer employed by the company, according to airline officials. It was not clear how the photos made it into the public domain; various news reports say they were "stolen" from the pilot's laptop computer. The airline said the ad campaign, due to start Sept. 1, will be delayed for a month.
"The timing of this scandal really could not have been worse in marketing terms," a Cathay Pacific executive told the South China Morning Post, on condition of anonymity. "A whole new set of pictures of staff in off-duty poses has been taken for the next phase of what has been an enormously effective global campaign. But the scope for the slogan and the campaign to be misinterpreted, or ridiculed and lampooned, in light of the cockpit incident is obvious. So it looks like it's going to be postponed at least for a while," the executive said.