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I well remember the days when Cathay used to proudly announce that its cabin crew were drawn from across Asia who apart from their friendliness and being able to communicate in many languages were of course familiar with many countries and able to offer advice re passenger questions.
These cabin crew were both delightful and knowledgeable and it was a sad day when the somewhat milatent HK cabin crew union forced the airline to only recruit crew from Hong Kong if suitable applicants were available,which previously they were.
Although the present mostly Cantonese crew are well trained and mostly very capable they in my opinion and that of others are rather reserved and mostly lacking the natural outgoing warmth and friendliness of the Thai, Malaysian and Filipino crew as well as the gentle kindness of the Japanese.
Cathay have also a small London cabin crew base and have this year added a number UK based Cantonese speaking crew some who have previously worked for the airline.
This change of recruiting direction is very much driven by the airlines need to quickly add this year over 2000 cabin crew and the general shortage of Hong Kong based labour.
It also seems that the airline has capped its China search at about 200 and these are mostly being drawn from previous Dragon Air and current Chinese airline crew.
Apparently recruiting is going well with 1000 already engaged but hundreds more required as the airline progresses towards running all full schedule.