Three former and serving employees of Cathay Pacific Airways have been charged by the ICAC today with accepting bribes totaling over HK$98,000 for nominating a woman and her friends as traveling companions to enjoy staff benefits in purchasing air tickets.

It was said that the scheme operated by the three defendants had resulted in the airline suffering a financial loss of over $1.16 million, involving 75 sectors of tickets.

The defendants, Lau Ching-man, 34, former flight purser of Cathay Pacific, Lee Chung-fai, 26, and Wong Oi-ting, 31, respectively serving and former flight attendants of Cathay Pacific, were released on ICAC bail, pending their court appearance next Tuesday.

According to an ICAC statement, the three were said to have received HK$27,000 to HK$39,000 between 2018 to 2019 June as inducements to nominate a woman and her friend as their traveling companion under the airline’s "Companion Travel Scheme".

Under the scheme, each employee of Cathay Pacific was allowed to nominate a partner, sibling, family member or a friend to be a traveling companion who would be able to purchase air tickets of the airline and its partner airlines at concessionary rates.