Cathay Pacific apologises to passenger whose cat escaped while being loaded on plane at Changi Airport
Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific has apologised following the recovery of a cat which escaped while being transferred to an aircraft, sparking a five-day search at Changi Airport.
The cat, named Aiko, had initially escaped from her carrier on Oct 28, according to a Facebook post by her owner, Mr Adrian Wong.
Mr Wong had posted in the “Lost and Found Pets in Singapore” Facebook group to seek help from members of the public after Aiko went missing.
The eight-year-old cat was found on the morning of Nov 1, said Mr Wong in a follow-up post in the same group.
“Aiko has been found this morning at the cargo area. Safe and sound, definitely dropped a few pounds and have oil and grease all over, but healthy!” said Mr Wong in his Facebook post, which saw more than 1,000 reactions.
“Thank you for everyone’s support and prayers – we cannot do this without your kind help. We are beyond grateful. Thank you so very much, this is a very strong community!”
The Straits Times has contacted Mr Wong for more information.
Responding to queries from The Straits Times, Mr Ashish Kapur, Cathay Pacific’s Regional Head of Cargo, South-east Asia, apologised for the incident.
He said that the airline had been alerted on Oct 28 that Aiko had escaped through a hole in her carrier, which was damaged while being transferred to a Hong Kong-bound aircraft at Changi Airport.
Cathay Pacific did not respond to queries on how the carrier was damaged.
According to Mr Kapur, an urgent search for Aiko was launched in the area, with professional animal handlers engaged to help with the search. After she was found on Nov 1, Aiko was sent for a thorough check-up by veterinary professionals.
“Plans are being made to reunite her with her owner in Hong Kong as soon as possible,” said Mr Kapur.
“Throughout this time, we worked with our partners and took the owner’s advice on the cat’s behaviour to help with the recovery. We apologise to the owner for the anxiety this has caused and will review this incident with our partners to ensure this does not happen again.”
In April 2022, a dog was found nine days after it had escaped from its crate at Changi Airport. At the time, the dog was being loaded onto a Singapore Airlines aircraft.
In December 2021, two lions on their way to an overseas facility caused a stir at Changi Airport when they broke free of a container they were being transported in. After a brief stand-off, the lions were tranquillised.