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Cathay Pacific celebrates first flight to Beijing

02 Dec 2003

Cathay Pacific Airways this evening celebrated its first flight to Beijing in 13 years. Flight CX318 departed Hong Kong on schedule at 5:50pm local time. The flight arrived in Beijing at 8:45pm.

The flight's arrival marked an important milestone in Cathay Pacific's ongoing work to strengthen Hong Kong as a global hub and gateway to the Chinese Mainland, and to enhance the flow of business and tourist traffic to and from Beijing by offering single-carrier through services to the Chinese Mainland.

Cathay Pacific Director and Chief Operating Officer Philip Chen said: "By combining our global network with convenient connecting services, Cathay Pacific aims to strengthen Hong Kong's position as a global aviation hub and gateway to the Chinese Mainland, as well as promote tourism. I would like to thank all of our staff whose hard work made the launch of our new service a smooth one."

Among the passengers on the flight were Marjorie Ho and her husband Peter But. Ms Ho said that she flew on Cathay Pacific's last flight out of Beijing 13 years ago, on 31 May 1990, and she purposely waited to take the airline's first flight back again.

"I waited 13 years for Cathay Pacific to fly back," Ms Ho said. She is now retired, but said when working in the garment industry she frequently flew to and from Beijing on Cathay Pacific. Ms Ho and her husband joined a four-day tour of the capital city.

The eldest passenger was 97 year-old Mrs Wong Mui. She said she was making her first trip to Beijing with her son.

There were a number of tour group travellers. Evergloss Tours Managing Director Peter Yuen said Cathay Pacific's service to Beijing offered more choice to customers, and added that he hoped the airline would operate more services to more cities on the Chinese Mainland soon to meet travel demand. Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club member Ronald Phua who was one of the passengers on board also made similar comments.
Cathay Pacific cabin crew in front of Tian Tan, the Temple of Heaven, China's most famous temple. This crew will operate the first flight from Beijing to Hong Kong, departing at 7:55am on Wednesday. Cathay Pacific cabin crew from flight CX318, the airline's first flight to the capital city in 13 years, and airline ground staff at Beijing's Capital Airport.