Cathay Pacific positioned as the choice for China
Brand: Cathay Pacific
Spokesperson: Tom Wright, Cathay Pacific general manager for Middle East, India and Africa
Plans for 2007?
2007 will be a key milestone for Hong Kong as the HKSAR Government celebrates ten years of reunification with the mainland. It is an important year for Cathay Pacific following our integration with Dragonair, our closer financial and operational relationship with Air China and the launch of our newly designed long haul cabin classes, reconfiguring all three classes along with a new inflight entertainment system. With the Cathay Pacific/ Dragonair integration, the CX Airline Group now presents the most comprehensive worldwide network into China through our home base Hong Kong.
Our fleet has grown to 101 aircraft and there are 33 aircraft on firm order. With a view to grow the airline, modernise and expand its fleet and continue to strengthen Hong Kong as a global aviation hub, our plans are to add more destinations and carry more people and more freight on an ever-increasing number of flights.
The future of aviation is a war amongst hubs. For Cathay Pacific, a key question is whether Hong Kong, can continue to be a dominant hub. Hong Kong has its advantages. Half the world’s population lives within a five-hour flying radius. The Chinese mainland, the world’s fastest growing market, is on our doorstep.
The Middle East is an important region in our network. Our operations to started in 1976 to Bahrain and in 1977 to Dubai. Currently, we operate a total of 25 flights per week from the Middle East to Hong Kong – 14 flights a week out of Dubai, a daily service out of Bahrain and four flights a week from Riyadh – that conveniently connect to our vast Asian network.
Statistics indicate a consistent growth in tourist arrivals into Hong Kong from the Middle East region and our aim is to capture as much share as possible of this growing market segment. Hong Kong offers a good competitive choice as a holiday destination in its own right and as a gateway to venture into China.
New for passengers?
From January 2007 to mid-2009, the new long haul product that offers a brand new seat, cabin design and inflight entertainment introduced in first, business and economy classes will be installed on all new deliveries and retrofitted on long haul aircraft already in operation.
As far as leisure packages are concerned, out of the Middle East – Dubai, Bahrain and Riyadh – we will continue to offer our popular Hong Kong Supercity brand tour packages with extensions to prominent holiday destinations in Asia.
Challenges for 2007?
Today’s commercial conditions with high fuel prices and increasing competition are very challenging. One of the key challenges is to build on what we already do well – for instance, maintain our reputed style of offering service straight from the heart – while continuing to invest in product enhancements.