Cathay Pacific pilots yesterday called for extra training, bulletproof cockpit doors and stronger locks in the wake of the September 11 suicide hijack attacks in the United States. Hijacks on Cathay were a 'very real possibility' because it flew daily to unstable regions worldwide, the Aircrew Officers' Association said. In a letter written at the request of union members attending yesterday's meeting, the union urged the company to set aside industrial differences and discuss hijack safety. Union president Nigel Demery said in the letter that the terror attacks had exposed security gaps in the air travel system. 'As pilots, we are on the front lines of this system and are committed to ensuring that air travel is safe,' he said. The union did not follow the lead of US colleagues, who have called to be allowed to carry arms on board. Cathay's director of corporate development, Tony Tyler, said he could not respond to the letter until he had seen it. He said safety and industrial issues were quite separate and safety was the company's top priority. The airline had brought in extra safety measures after September 11, which he could not discuss for security reasons.