Cathay Pacific initiatives to rebuild Hong Kong business
18 Jun 2003
Cathay Pacific Airways' early initiatives to bring visitors back to Hong Kong are gaining strength with more than 80,000 tickets sold in an overseas sales drive co-ordinated across the airline's global network.
The airline's "Early Bird" promotion was launched in early May while Hong Kong was still gripped by atypical pneumonia, or SARS. The deal's special discounted fares, created by Cathay Pacific in a proactive effort to boost Hong Kong, have already attracted more than 80,000 passengers, most of whom will arrive in Hong Kong in coming weeks. The "Early Bird" deals offer up to 30 percent off regular fares.
Discount offers available in Hong Kong include the "Cathay Pacific World Pass," a multiple-ticket promotion that helps Hong Kong businessmen renew overseas contacts and lets leisure travellers show others how life in Hong Kong is getting back to normal.
These are among a number of initiatives that Cathay Pacific has launched over the past few weeks to help rebuild Hong Kong after SARS and maintain Hong Kong's position as the region's leading aviation hub.
Cathay Pacific is also working with the Government and the travel trade on the launch of a large-scale recovery campaign.
Cathay Pacific Director and Chief Operating Officer Philip Chen said: "It is crucial that we do whatever we can to bring visitors back to Hong Kong. As a key player in Hong Kong's travel industry, we have initiated a range of events to rebuild confidence in travel, followed by campaigns to rebuild traffic and Hong Kong's position within the region. Our "Early Bird" and "World Pass" deals in tandem with other confidence-building efforts are showing clear results."
"Early Bird" arrivals will coincide with a raft of other special incentives including the launch of Cathay Pacific's "Yum Sing" card that passengers can use to redeem discounts at certain restaurants, attractions and stores upon presentation of their Cathay Pacific boarding pass.
From July, the airline will restore about 170 flights per week in order to meet demand as it returns.
Cathay Pacific was instrumental in the creation of the "We Love Hong Kong" campaign to lift Hong Kong over the impact of SARS by encouraging people to get out, spend money and help get life back to normal. It has also played a key role in supporting Government and industry initiatives, such as the Operation Unite Campaign, to draw back travellers back to Hong Kong.
Last week, Cathay Pacific hosted a group of Japanese journalists on a fact-finding tour of Hong Kong as part of the airline's programme to help restore travellers' confidence to Hong Kong. This was the first overseas media visit the airline hosted since the World Health Organisation lifted its travel advisory against Hong Kong.
The airline also played host to 129 ethnic Chinese community leaders who visited Hong Kong from Europe on a special "Seeing is Believing" tour. It followed the "Flying Without Fear" education programme designed to inform the public about health protection measures in place on Cathay Pacific aircraft.
A series of visits sponsored by Cathay Pacific to bring people to Hong Kong from all over the world will take place over the coming weeks.