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Cathay Pacific honoured for showing leadership during SARS

05 Nov 2003

Cathay Pacific Airways was last night honoured by the travel industry for demonstrating outstanding leadership and initiative in efforts to help Hong Kong and the region recover from the effects of SARS.

The airline was cited at the “TTG Honours 2003” awards ceremony, which took place yesterday evening in Bangkok, for being the driving force behind initiatives to rebuild Hong Kong’s tourism industry and restore confidence in air travel. Cathay Pacific was also commended for standing by Hong Kong during the depths of the crisis and preserving the jobs of its staff, despite suffering a heavy financial loss.

“Cathay Pacific got up-and-running, but not just to protect itself,” the TTG Honours citation said. “It shows acceptance of losses as part of doing business – but also that the bigger loss may be to lose the respect and goodwill of one's home base if one does not carry oneself well during a crisis.”

Award host TTG Asia, a leading travel industry publication, highlighted the airline’s initiatives to get Hong Kong’s travel industry back on its feet again.

“Cathay Pacific drove the ingenious initiative – anyone who spent HK$1,000 could buy an air ticket for that amount – by contributing more than 8,000 tickets,” the TTG Honours citation said about We Love Hong Kong campaign. “The Cathay Pacific World Pass encouraged businesses to renew overseas contacts; Early Bird discounts, of which 80,000 tickets were sold, encouraged inbound travel; and Visit Hong Kong Now flight and hotel packages attracted 15,000 bookings.”

TTG also credited Flying Without Fear, “a communications drive to bust the fear of air travel,” and the fact that Cathay Pacific donated 10,000 free tickets to Hong Kong Tourism Board and HK$2 million worth of tickets for the Hong Kong Super Draw.

Cathay Pacific Director and Chief Operating Officer Philip Chen said: “As the airline of Hong Kong, we felt that we should do everything we could to restore confidence and help Hong Kong rebuild after SARS. The TTG Honours 2003 award was won with the hard work and determination of all Cathay Pacific’s management and staff. It is to them that we owe our thanks, as we do Hong Kong’s travel trade for their unity and support.”