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Cathay Pacific's non-stop New York flight 'strengthens Hong Kong's hub'

11 Jun 2004


Cathay Pacific Airways will strengthen Hong Kong's position as a global aviation hub with its launch on 1 July of daily non-stop flights to and from New York, Director and Chief Operating Officer Philip Chen told community leaders in New York City.

Speaking before New York's Hong Kong Association, which brings together senior bankers, lawyers and other business leaders with close connections to Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland, Mr Chen said: "New York and Hong Kong are half a world apart but are both global hubs for business, transport, finance and culture.

"Even in today's world, where business is conducted around the world and around the clock, there is still only a handful of truly 'Great Cities': New York and Hong Kong are two of them. Hong Kong is a global hub in Asia. Half the world's population is encompassed within a five-hour radius. Hong Kong is the international gateway to China – the world's single biggest and fastest growing market," he said.

Mr Chen, in New York for a gala launch for the new non-stop service, met separately with the Consul General of the People's Republic of China in New York, Mr Liu Biwei, and with leaders of the local Chinese community and travel industry. Earlier, Mr Chen met leaders of New York's business community at a breakfast meeting hosted by Forbes and the Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU).

Cathay Pacific will, from 1 July, be the only airline to operate a daily non-stop service from New York to Hong Kong. And with a second one-stop service via Vancouver it will be the only airline to offer customers the choice and convenience of two flights a day.

Cathay Pacific made the world's first non-stop flight from New York to Hong Kong over the North Pole on 5 July 1998. Two of its pilots, Captain Mike Lowes and First Officer Kelvin Ma, who operated that flight, met with the media in New York to talk about their historic achievement. That Cathay Pacific flight, dubbed "Polar One", created the airways that all airlines now flying over the Pole between Asia the US follow.

As part of the launch celebration, the airline also ran a lucky draw on a popular New York radio station in which Cathay Pacific New York-Hong Kong tickets were on offer.
Cathay Pacific Director & Chief Operating Officer Philip Chen addressed members of the Hong Kong Association of New York on the importance of building Hong Kong as the world’s leading aviation hub and gateway to the Chinese Mainland. Pictured at the event are (from left): Tom Wright, Cathay Pacific Vice President, Americas; Jacqueline Willis, Commissioner for Economic and Trade Affairs, USA; Sarah Wu, Director, Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office, New York; Philip Chen; and Stephen McCardell, Chairman, Hong Kong Association of New York. Cathay Pacific Director & Chief Operating Officer Mr Philip Chen addressed a crowd of local Chinese community leaders, thanking them for their years of support, on his visit to New York to announce the non-stop service.
Cathay Pacific’s Senior First Officer Kelvin Ma shared his excitement about operating the upcoming Hong Kong-New York non-stop flight, starting 1 July, with a presenter from New York-based Chinese television station CWCB. Ma also shared his experience about operating the historic Polar One flight in 1998 Smiling winners accept their prizes from Cathay Pacific Director Chief Operating Officer Mr Philip Chen at the New York-based multi-cultural station AM1480. Cathay Pacific ran a joint promotional campaign with AM1480 that attracted more than 500 listeners to enter a competition with the first prize of New York-Hong Kong non-stop round-trip ticket.