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Cathay Pacific celebrates inaugural service to Beijing (9:00pm)

02 Mar 2004

Cathay Pacific Airways today celebrated its official resumption of services to Beijing with the departure of a special inaugural service to the capital.

Joining Cathay Pacific Chairman James Hughes-Hallett are leaders of international Chambers of Commerce, local business leaders, members of the National People's Congress, delegates to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, aviation authority officials, Hong Kong Legislative Councillors and Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club members. They took today's Cathay Pacific service CX318 to Beijing.

Ahead of the departure, Mr Hughes-Hallett said: "Cathay Pacific resuming services to Beijing represents the opening of another historic chapter in the airline's history. We are grateful to the Hong Kong and Central Governments for this opportunity to once more serve the capital.

Mr Hughes-Hallett added: "As the home carrier of Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific takes great pride in its commitment and contribution to Hong Kong and the Mainland. With services to Beijing, Cathay Pacific will strive to develop closer ties between Hong Kong and the capital, further strengthen Hong Kong's position as a global aviation hub and promote international tourism in the Chinese Mainland."

Over the course of a two-day visit to the capital, Mr Hughes-Hallett and members of the delegation will meet with officials from the Central Government, the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, Ministry of Commerce and the China National Tourism Administration.

The centrepiece of the event will be a gala dinner at which the guests of honour will be Yang Yuanyuan, Minister of General Administration of Civil Aviation Administration of China and Bowen Leung, Director of the Office of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administration Region in Beijing.
(From left) Cathay Pacific Director and Chief Operating Officer Philip Chen, Chairman James Hughes-Hallett and Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive David Turnbull toast the airline's official resumption of services to Beijing near the departure gate of flight CX318 at Hong Kong International Airport.