Young people are the future of Hong Kong, and at Cathay Pacific we believe it is essential to contribute to the skills development and personal enhancement of today’s youth. That’s why we support and organise a range of aviation-related educational programmes to help inspire and support future generations and to enhance their sense of social responsibility.
The airline’s flagship youth programme, I Can Fly, is a unique educational programme combining the essence of social service with aviation know-how. It aims to encourage young people to fly high and reach for their dreams.
Launched in January 2003, the programme actively recruits Hong Kong students who show a passion for aviation and an interest in community service. Thousands of students have graduated from the programme since its launch.
Cathay Pacific pilots and staff volunteers lead the I Can Fly members through a series of aviation and social service activities during the programme period. The young members are given the chance to visit various aviation facilities, go through aviation-related training, participate in teambuilding activities, and design and implement their own social-service projects for community groups. At the end of the programme, the members take part in overseas trips where they learn more about different aspects of aviation and interact with people from different cultures. A number of former I Can Fly participants have since taken up careers within the Hong Kong aviation industry.
The programme has then been adopted by many of the airline’s local teams – in Mainland China, Canada, the USA and Thailand, for example - to nurture an enthusiasm for aviation among young people around the world.
This unique programme involves Cathay Pacific staff volunteers, of different nationalities and backgrounds, who help to encourage local students to practise their spoken English. Through English on Air, secondary school students of different age groups are invited to Cathay Pacific City to meet and mingle with the volunteers for English-speaking sessions.
The programme is conducted in different formats, including interactive activities, conversation sessions and mock job interviews. Since its launch in late 2007, more than 2,000 students have benefited from the programme.
The first Cathay Pacific Community Flight took place in 2007 and has been an annual fixture on the airline’s CSR calendar since 2013. To date, close to 1,000 participants from underprivileged families in Hong Kong have enjoyed this unique experience.
Leveraging on the unique business strength Cathay Pacific possesses as Hong Kong’s home airline, the community flight provides an opportunity to fly to less-privileged children and their families. The flights have been organised with a different theme each year, from “Spirit of Hong Kong” to “Family Solidarity”, which provided families with a memorable experience and the chance to bond up in the air. The overarching aim of this programme is to promote positive values that can help build harmonious family relations with the wider Hong Kong community.
Cathay Pacific’s headquarters, Cathay Pacific City, is a sophisticated complex that features a host of aviation-related training facilities. Cathay Pacific offers students and members of the public an opportunity to get a unique insight into the aviation world through a guided-visit programme that is open to non-profit organisations. More than 10,000 visitors - including schools, universities and non-governmental organisations – take part in the programme each year.