Cathay Pacific Airways

Cathay Pacific Airways, is also known as CX from IATA, CPA from ICAO code and CATHAY as its call sign (Wikipedia,2010 1). It is the flag carrier of Hong Kong as well as it is based in Hong Kong International Airport as the hub. The major focus cities are Bangkok Suvarnabhmui Airport in Thailand and Taipei Taoyuen International Airport in Taiwan (Wikipedia,2010 1). It is one of the top world’s airlines as it has been rated as a 5 stars airline by Skytrax in 2010 (Skytrax,2010 2).
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(Cathay Pacifics' logo -embedded from on 4 October 2010) (Cathay Pacifics' livery -embedded from Wikipedia on 4 October 2010)

Cathay Pacific in their own words

(Video embedded from youtube on 5 October 2010)


Cathay Pacific was founded by an American Roy C Farrell and Australian Sydney H de Kantzow in Hong Kong on Septermebr 24th, 1946. The company began to operate passenger flights to Manila, Bangkok, Singapore and Shanghai. In 1948, one of the Hong Kong’s leading trading companies Butterfield & Swire (as know as The Swire Group today) took a 45% share of the company and became fully responsible for the management of Cathay Pacific. (52% owned by Swire in 2010) (Cathay Pacific,2010b 4)

The airline business grew at an average of 20% per year during 1962 to 1967 which they were also expanded their international services to Osaka, Fukuoka and Nagoya in Japan to became the world’s first airline to these three destinations. In the early 1970s, they started to introduce the computerized reservation system and flight simulators to provide better services to its customers. With the bi-lateral and Open Skies agreements have been signed by the governments and the first Boeing 747-200 arrived in Hong Kong in mid 1979, Cathay Pacific expended its international services to Europe and North America in the early 1980s(Cathay Pacific,2010b 4). Such services include London, Brisbane, Frankfurt, Vancouver, Amsterdam, Rome, San Francisco, Paris, Zurich and Manchester.

A worldwide economic boom spearheaded by Asia in which had created more business travelers, tourists and cargo which increased the demand of air travel throughout the 1980s.
It is no doubt that Hong Kong was the best location for all kind of business trading as it located in the centre of the world with convenience seaport and being as the transition point from long haul travel. The aviation industry had experienced the hard time during the early 1990s which many airlines could not survive from the Gulf War.
the green and while striped livery had been changed to the Asian “brushstroke” image in the 1990s, representing the dynamic cooperation image with positive attitude during the down time (Cathay Pacific,2010b 4).
The airline became the world’s first airline of flying non stop transpolar flight over to the North Pole in 1998. it was also the year that they first flew their aircrafts to arrive at the new Hong Kong International Airport (Chek Lap Kok Airport).

The cargo services were increasingly playing an important role toward to the company’s growth and expansion while the passenger services continued to grow stronger than ever. It contribute almost 30 % to the total revenue in present to lead the company to be more competitive (Cathay Pacific,2010b 4).


CX operating fleet of aircraft 136
Boeing 777-300 12
Boeing 777-300ER 28
Boeing 777-200 5
Boeing 747-400 21
Boeing 747-400 BCF (Cargo) 8
Boeing 747-400F (Cargo) 6
Boeing 747-400ERF (Cargo) 6
Boeing 747-8F (Cargo) 5
Airbus A340-300 11
Airbus A330-300 34
Average age of passenger aircraft in service 10.7 years

( information from Cathay pacific Official Website CX Fleets)


Cathay Pacific Route map (image embedded from on 4 October 2010)

Cathay Pacific fly to 116 destinations worldwide .

  • over 40 Asian cities within the CX network and over 17 destinations in China through Dragonair (Cathay Pacific,2010c 5).
  • Global network with oneworld partners with connections to 150 countries and over 700 destinations (Cathay Pacific,2010c 5)
  • Most popular destinations include London, Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei, Frankfrut, Auckland, Sydney, Seoul, Washington, New York, Toronto, Los Angeles etc.
Australia Chile France Japan New Zealand Philippines South Africa Taiwan
Bahrain Czech Germany Korea Mexico Russia Sri Lanka United Arab Emirates
Bangladesh Denmark India China Pakistan Saudi Arabia United Kingdom United States
Cambodia Fiji Indonesia Malaysia Netherlands Sweden Thailand Vietnam
Canada Finland Italy Nepal Portugal Singapore Switzerland
Information from Cathay Pacific Destinations


Although there are many strong competitors in the aviation industry, with all the innovations and high demand of quality services, Cathay Pacific remains a strong reputation from its customers. By differentiating itself from other competitors with innovations, services and convenience, it also brands itself among other airlines by introduce some of their people’s stories to stay close with publicity. “On the ground, in the air, behind the scene and meet the people” .

“I can fly” is a unique educational programme to the younger generation which was introduced in 2003. The programme is designed for Hong Kong students aged between 15 – 18 who have passion for aviation and community services (Cathay Pacific,2010f 8). These people would then become volunteers to serve the Hong Kong community while being involved in a number of aviation related activities with Cathay Pacific. Outstanding volunteers will be awarded trips overseas to learn more about aviation in different aspects. Parallel the programme with the Hong Kong Air Crops, more people are aware of the aviation industry (Cathay Pacific,2010f 8).

Loyalty programme

The Marco Polo Club and the Asia Miles are the two loyalty programmes that offered by Cathay Pacific. Members of the Marco Polo Club will automatically becoming one of the Asia Miles Members.

There are about 500,000 members in the Marco Polo Club. Members of the Marco Polo Club are divided into four tiers. Green, Silver, Gold and Diamond based on the member’s past travel. Members with higher tier receive travel benefits such as guaranteed economy class seat, baggage allowance, priority flight booking and airport lounge access (Wikipedia,2010 1).

on the other hand,Asia Miles is a more traditional travel rewards programme which gain mileage credits by flying on Cathay Pacific, Dragonair or a partner airline (Wikipedia,2010 1). It has been named the best frequent flyer programme in the 2009 business traveller Asia- Pacific Travel Awards and is the 5th consecutive year it has won this award. It has about 3.6 million members. Mileage can be earned by spending through a number of hotels, credit card companies, car rental agencies, telecommunication companies and other non-airline channels (Wikipedia,2010 1). These miles can be rewarded as a trip for the next flights or other discounts with partner companies.

Training and development

Safety and efficiency of flights is one of Cathay Pacific’s primary missions. To demonstrate the growth of Cathay Pacific and the Hong Kong Aviation industry, the Cadet Pilot Programme was introduced in 1988 (Cathay Pacific,2010 3). The programme is designed for individual who has a strong passion in flying as well as ambitious of becoming one of their Captains in the future. It is all paid by the company which is a rare opportunity in today’s aviation industry as the cadet training is very expensive (Cathay Pacific,2010 3). With the diverse culture of Cathay Pacific, all nationalities including both male and female are eligible to apply this cadet programme.

The candidates are required to complete several stages in the selection process. Interviews and tests include aptitude, English writing, mathematics, personality as well as medical examination in order to ensure the candidate is the best to perform the company’s goals. Successful candidates will be offered a paid trip to Australia for flight grading to assess his/her flying potential (Cathay Pacific,2010 3).
Applicants who passed all the test and interview processes, they will become cadet pilots attending a 61 weeks of residential course at Flight Training Adelaide Pty Ltd in Adelaide- Australia (Cathay Pacific,2010 3). After the course and successfully passed the all examinations, cadets will then receive a Hong Kong Commercial Pilot's Licence with a multi-engine Command Instrument Rating, A Hong Kong Airline Transport Pilot's Licence is issued upon completion of the actual flying hours required (Cathay Pacific,2010 3). To know more visit Cathay Pacific cadetpilot


Cabin crew uniforms (image embedded from Cathay Pacific Press on 4 October 2010)

Female Flight Attendants and Customer Service Officers (Junior): red and yellow suit with CX livery printed top
Female Flight Attendants (senior): purple and yellow/ black and yellow suit with CX livery printed top.
Male (junior): purple suit.
Male (senior): black suit with red tie.

Cathay Pacific & DragonAir

CX & KA logo (image embedded from essecchine on 5 October 2010)

With the demand of air travel is increasing from Mainland China, Cathay Pacific bought over Dragonair into the Cathay Pacific Groups on 28 September 2006 (Wikipedia,2010 1). The reason behind it was due to Cathay Pacific celebrated 60 years of serving Hong Kong in 2006 which also shown the positive growth of connecting more than 20 cities in Mainland China (Wikipedia,2010 1). With the support from Cathay Pacific’s international connections, Dragonair has strengthened its services to attract and provide passengers with more choices and opened up new travel possibilities to be the gateway of international air travel (Wikipedia,2010 1)


The Cathay Pacific Airlines, Dragonair and Air Hong Kong are now operating more than 150 aircrafts to almost 130 destinations around the world (Wikipedia,2010 1). The growing operations help to strengthen the Hong Kong aviation industry to become one of the premier international aviation hubs. They have also added 20 more flights per week and new destinations such as Chennai and Moscow in 2010.

The company has modernised its Boeing 777-300ER to provide passengers a more comfortable and high innovations services. It is expected to have wireless broadband internet within the next 2 years. With the new cabin designs being introduced, the new cabins are bringing passengers to a new level of travel experience in all cabin classes.

Ordered aircraft types Total
Airbus A330-300 17
Airbus A350-900 22
Airbus A350-1000 10
Boeing 777-300ER 22
Boeing 747-8F 5
Boeing 777-200F 8

on 21st September 2010, Cathay Pacific ordered 6 more Boeing 777-300ER. the total order of aircrafts have increased from 30 to 36 (Cathay Pacific,2010 3).
18 aircrafts are already in operation on long-haul and ultra-long-haul routes to Europe and North America. The remaining 12 orders are scheduled to be deliveredfrom 2011 to early 2013 with the additional six newly purchased 777-300ERs will be delivered in 2013 and 2014.

After the 2012 Farnborough Air Show the Company announced that it will order 10 of the largest version the Airbus 350 family plus convert 16 of its existing order of the -900 variant to the larger -1000 model. This announcement came a few months after the press release of the acceleration of the 747-400 retirement due to the fuel efficiency newer aircraft can provide.

Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal
The new Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal will be opening in early 2013 with a site of approximately 10 hectares in the Hong Kong International Airport’s cargo area (Cathay Pacific,2010 7). The construction of this project cost about $5.5 billion which designed for an annual air cargo throughput of 2.6 tonnes and to be more efficient and competitive of the Hong Kong air cargo hub to the surrounding airports. At the heart of the cargo terminal is a HK$1.4 billion mechanical handling system, or MHS, which will be the most advanced in the world to date (Cathay Pacific,2010 3). While the Cargo terminal is under its developments, the 6 new extended range freighters Boeing 747- 400 have been delivered and 10 new generation of Boeing 747-8F are arriving between 2010 and 2012 to enhance a better cargo service to its customers.

( Video embedded from ) on 5 October 2010
3009_cathay-pacific-cargo-terminal-for-hong-kong-airport_content_Hong_Kong_Airport.jpg 295_87A35E0D-9B3E-A993-F8AA04DE165B8707_thumb.jpg
[[size smaller]] (Cathay Pacifics Cargo Terminal at Hong Kong International Airport -embedded from Airport-International on 4 October 2010) (Cathay Pacifics Cargo Terminal Model -embedded from wtpartnership on 4 October 2010)
1. wikipedia. (2010). Cathay Pacific Airways. Retrieved from Wikipedia on 4th October 2010
2. Skytrax. (2010). Offical 5- star ranking of products & services quality. Retrieved from Skytrax on 4th October 2010
3. Cathay Pacific. (2010a). Cadet Pilot Programme. retrieved from CX Careers on 4th October 2010
4. Cathay Pacific. (2010b). Hisotry. Retrieved from Cathay Pacific History on 4th October 2010
5. Cathay Pacific. (2010c). Destinations. Retrieved from Cathay Pacific Destinations on 4th October 2010
6. Cathay Pacific. (2010d). Press release. Retrieved from CX press on 4th October 2010
7. Cathay Pacific. (2010e). Press release. Retrieved from CX press on 4th October 2010
8. Cathay Pacific. (2010f). Cathay Pacific "I Can Fly" programme. Retrieved from I can fly on 4th October 2010

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