MEMPHIS, TN (WREG) — FedEx is allowing its pilots to opt out of trips to China while world health officials are working to contain the coronavirus.
FedEx released a statement on the matter Saturday night:
“The safety and well-being of our team members is always our top priority, and we continue to closely monitor developments related to the coronavirus. Throughout this situation, we have been in constant communication with our crew force regarding our flight operations in China. We can confirm that we have reached an agreement with our pilots that allows crew members to voluntarily decline trips into China.”
This is a result of an agreement between the Memphis-based shipping company and the Air Line Pilots Association on Saturday.
The ALPA released the following statement in an e-mail to WREG:
“Our pilots who feel they can’t go for any reason now have the ability to opt-out of such flying and make that flying up in the future… We appreciate that FedEx Express has recognized the professionalism and commitment of its pilots to its continued success.”
A Chinese-American died in a Chinese hospital on Thursday from the virus.
In a statement to CNN, the Chinese Foreign Ministry extended its condolences and described the patient as a “Chinese-American.” The Chinese government had kept in contact with the patient’s family in China, the statement said, and was working to assist the US and the family in “dealing with the aftermath.”
CNN is reporting 803 people have died in China from the virus. Two other deaths have been reporting in Hong Kong and the Philippines.