The 49ers: The True Story
The remarkable story of the Cathay Pacific pilots who beat the system.
You're a pilot, a captain no less with Cathay Pacific - one of the world's most prestigious airlines. One day you receive a DHL package at your home in Hong Kong. You're fired! No formality, no reason, no warning. Soon you discover that 48 of your colleagues have been unceremoniously dismissed in the same manner. This nightmare scenario is exactly what happened in July 2001 to Captain John Warham and his fellow '49ers'. It was the final fall of the axe after a protracted period of bitter wrangling between Cathay management and its pilots' union over cost-cutting, pay concessions, rostering and flight safety issues. Over the next eight years, Warham and his 'Band of Brothers' fought tooth and nail against the mighty corporate power of Cathay in an attempt to exonerate themselves and show the company's true colours to the world. What resulted was one of the most complex and truly international litigation cases in aviation history. In 2009, the pilots headed to court for the final hearing of their case. John Warham's The 49ers tells their remarkable story.