"We are conducting a full investigation of the issue and there are some indications that the woman shown in photographs it can be a member of our cabin crew," said Cathay spokeswoman said in a statement. "Our investigations are ongoing and we can not tell at this point," the statement said, without commenting on the identity of the man, who dressed in a picture circulating Cathay pilots were not in uniform.
"There is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that the action takes place in flight, and there is no reason to believe that security breaches have occurred," added the spokesman.
The air hostess had served in Cathay Pacific for over 10 years, and she had just been assigned to work in Italy last Wednesday. But she had been summoned to return to Hong Kong for interrogation by management.
Those pictures were originally stored in the notebook of the expat pilot, but somehow someone took photos of it direct from the notebook, and distributed them to friends through WhatsApp Messenger on their I-Phones and further onto Internet.
A company spokesman was quoted as saying in a separate commentary for the daily South China Morning Post said, "One of the pictures appear to have been taken inside an aircraft cockpit. There is no no way to know for sure if the photo was taken when the aircraft was in ladasan or air."
Reports in the Hong Kong media said the pictures have been widely circulated in an online forum for pilots. The reports added that the two men in the photographs is a partner.
According to the Chinese-language newspaper, Apple Daily, the pilot, a stranger, has launched a lawsuit against the newspaper. The pilot said that the photographs had been stolen from his personal computer and that he had reported the case to the police.
Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong's top airline, has 13,000 staff worldwide, including more than 8,000 cabin crew and 4,000 people working at the airport.