Cathay Pacific airline said Saturday it is investigating photographs that appear to show one of its stewardesses giving oral sex to a pilot in the cockpit of an aircraft, a report said.
The existence of the photos was first reported in Chinese blogs on Saturday. Industry sources said they suspected the photos were a malicious stunt designed to hurt the company.
The South China Morning Post (SCMP) confirmed that the Hong Kong-based airline had launched a "full investigation" into the cockpit sex allegations.
The paper reported that a video was also rumored to have been posted online, but it was not clear where the sex act had taken place nor if any airline staff were involved.
"One of the photos appears to have been taken inside an aircraft cockpit," an airline spokesman said, according to Deutsche Presse-Agentur quoting the SCMP.
"There is no way to tell conclusively whether the photo was taken while the aircraft was on the ground or airborne."
The woman in the photograph was wearing what appeared to be a Cathay Pacific stewardess uniform but her identify had yet to be confirmed, the spokesman said. The male was "not identifiable as the face is not shown."
"There is no evidence whatsoever that he is a pilot on duty. His clothing does not appear to be a Cathay Pacific pilot uniform,' the spokesman said.
The airline said it had more than 8,000 cabin crew, mostly based in Hong Kong.
Cathay Pacific Flight Attendants Union former chief Becky Kwan Siu-wa said she believed the photos were fakes.
"It is just someone trying to be malicious who has sent these photographs around out of spite," she said.
"These photographs could have been taken anywhere and people can dress up to look like a flight attendant.
"This has happened before where photographs of this kind have been circulated like this, but they have always been discredited."