Cathay Pacific marks 100 years of Hong Kong aviation

4 Mar 2011

Cathay Pacific Airlines begins a four-part campaign today in collaboration with the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department (CAD) to mark the 100th anniversary of aviation in Hong Kong.

Since Charles Van den Born touched down in the city from Belgium on March 18, 1911, aviation in Hong Kong has developed rapidly, and Hong Kong International Airport now handles the third highest passenger traffic in the world. Cathay Pacific has been an integral part of the historic journey for 64 years out of those 100. Chief executive, Tony Tyler, said: “As Hong Kong’s home carrier, Cathay Pacific is committed to the continued development of Hong Kong as one of the world’s leading aviation hubs.”

To celebrate the milestone, one of the carrier’s four-part initiative offers special round-trip airline tickets for regional and long-haul routes on Cathay Pacific and Dragonair. Rates begin at HK$990 (US$127) and will be available on the website from midnight tonight until March 11. Additionally, every 100th customer making a booking through the website will win cash vouchers equivalent in value to the ticket purchased to redeem another free ticket.

The second part of the campaign involves giving out 1,800 free round-trip economy class tickets to the winners of a “Connecting Your World” competition. From April onwards, local residents are invited to submit their ideas on how air transport connects Hong Kong with the world. Entries can be in video, photo, graphic illustration or written format. Winners will be chosen on a district basis by a panel of judges. More details will be released shortly.

Another part of the campaign targets the younger demographic. In partnership with the Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps, Cathay Pacific will run an Aviation Knowledge Contest throughout July in local secondary schools. Teams will compete in a live quiz and winners will be flown to either the Airbus factory in France or the Boeing factory in the United States to join the delivery of a new aircraft. In the months building up to the competition, the general public can test their aviation knowledge on a dedicated Facebook page,

Finally, the fourth part of the campaign will see the centenary logo emblazoned on one of Cathay’s Boeing B747-400 aircraft, which will be used on long-haul routes.

The Civil Aviation Department will be running a few of its own events. Until June 30 this year, the department has set up a free photo exhibition at Hong Kong International Airport, Terminal 1, recounting the major developments in aviation over the past century and displaying replica models of Farman biplanes, which was the type of aircraft Van den Born flew to Hong Kong.

The CAD will also host an Aircraft Pull on March 17 where more than 300 participants will attempt to pull four aircraft simultaneously and break a Guinness World Record.

To bag the promotional tickets, visit or For information on the history of aviation in Hong Kong and other events happening around the city, visit

Alisha Haridasani

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