An Australian pilot with Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific was back on duty Sunday after being allowed to keep his job despite a drunken theft at a McDonald's restaurant, dpa reported.
Australian Nicholas Reymond, 31, was summoned to a disciplinary hearing last week after being fined at a court hearing in October for taking a card-reading machine out of a branch of McDonald's.
Reymond was captured on CCTV cameras and arrested after the high jinx incident which took place at the end of a night of drinking with two friends in February.
The pilot, who is in training to be a first officer, was fined 3,000 Hong Kong dollars (387 US dollars) and ordered to pay McDonald's 3,000 Hong Kong dollars compensation after pleading guilty to theft.
Reymond feared he would lose his job at the disciplinary hearing for bringing the airline into disrepute, colleagues said.
Instead, he was warned and disciplined and given a punishment that airline sources said would delay his promotion to first officer but will not affect his future career.
At the hearing last month, a letter from a senior Cathay pilot praised Reymond for his professionalism and magistrate Garry Tallentire said he hoped the incident would not affect his career.
A spokeswoman for Cathay Pacific said in a statement: "We can confirm that Nicholas Reymond is still employed as a pilot and is now back on duty.
"He has been party to a disciplinary hearing but details of the company's internal disciplinary proceedings will not be disclosed to the public."
A fellow pilot at Cathay Pacific said: "We're all relieved at the outcome. Nick is a popular guy and a good pilot and what happened was nothing more than an instance of drunken larking about."
A spokesman for the pilots' union, the Aircrew Officers Association: "Mr Reymond was interviewed by management as part of the recognised disciplinary and grievance procedure. He has been disciplined but has not been dismissed and the matter is now closed.
"The company management took account of all relevant factors, including Mr Reymond's sincere apologies and his previous unblemished record. We appreciate the understanding shown by management in allowing a junior officer to continue his career."