17 Jan 2016
The Cathay Pacific Community Flight 2016 took off today with some 250 Hong Kong residents from less-advantaged families flying together for the first time. Among the participants this year were people who are hearing-impaired.
This year’s Community Flight was organised as part of the Appreciate Hong Kong Campaign. Organised by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the campaign aims to showcase the strengths of Hong Kong and calls on the public, the Government, the business sector and academia to work together for the good of the city.
The Honourable C Y Leung, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, was Guest of Honour at the event, joined by Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Ivan Chu to accompany the residents on the 90-minute flight over Hong Kong on a Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300 aircraft.
Speaking at the pre-flight ceremony, Mr Chu said: “Rooted in Hong Kong for 70 years, Cathay Pacific is committed to serving its home city and is keen to help promote a positive energy within the local community. The theme of this year’s Community Flight is “Giving Thanks”, with the young participants being encouraged to be appreciative of the people and environment around them. In addition to enjoying the flying experience with their family, some will also have the chance to help serve passengers. We hope this event will inspire these youngsters to be thankful for the people and things in their life.”
Getting some of the participants involved in various duties during the flight journey was a new element for Cathay Pacific’s latest Community Flight – the sixth such flight to take place since 2007. The youngsters helped with various aspects of passenger servicing, from welcoming guests to facilitating the boarding process and helping with the inflight meal service. The aim was to support this year’s theme and build their sense of awareness and empathy with others.
Participant Ng Wing-mui appreciated being able to share many memorable moments in the air with her mother. Wing-mui’s mother said: “We are not rich but we are a happy family. We appreciate everything that we have, no matter how small it is. My daughter will thank me for preparing even a simple dinner, which always makes me happy. We are very excited today to get on a plane and fly into the sky. This is just like a dream for both of us!”
The participants were selected through a drawing competition organised by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service and some 20 non-governmental organisations. The young people submitted drawings that showed how they demonstrate appreciation for the different people and things in their life. Those not lucky enough to be selected to join the flight had a chance to visit Cathay Pacific City and enjoy an educational tour of its sophisticated facilities, getting to understand the duties of pilots and cabin crew through close interaction.
Joining the participants for the flight over Hong Kong were more than 50 Cathay Pacific Volunteers, including cockpit and cabin crew who acted as Community Flight ambassadors, providing assistance and sharing their aviation knowledge and fun facts with the families.
The flight was made possible through the support extended by various government departments and other organisations, including the Transport and Housing Bureau, the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department, Airport Authority Hong Kong, the Immigration Department, Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department, the Hong Kong Police Force and Aviation Security Company Limited.