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Open University joins hands with Cathay Pacific to offer study programme in inflight service

26 May 2005


The Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK) and Cathay Pacific Airways will offer a Professional Diploma in Inflight Service programme in August. This is the first inflight service study programme in Hong Kong jointly provided by a university and an airline.

The collaboration was announced today (26 May) by OUHK President Prof. John Leong, and Ms Quince Chong, Director Service Delivery of Cathay Pacific Airways, at a signing ceremony in Cathay Pacific City.

Prof. John Leong said, “Our collaboration with Cathay Pacific sets the best example of cooperation between education and business for building our work force. We can capitalize on the strengths and experiences of both sides to help train professionals for the airline industry.”

He continued, “Cathay Pacific is one of the best airlines around the world. It holds leadership in the industry and is known for its commitment to staff development. In this collaboration, Cathay Pacific is involved in the development of programme structure and subject contents and will assign experienced staff to teach some of the courses and provide training venues. This highly practical and professional programme will provide an invaluable pre-service training opportunity for people who are interested in developing a career in inflight service.”

Ms. Quince Chong said, “As Hong Kong’s home carrier, Cathay Pacific is committed to developing Hong Kong as Asia’s leading aviation hub. We spare no efforts in providing jobs and training opportunities for local people. We are happy to cooperate with The Open University of Hong Kong and capitalize on its rich experience in continuing education and expertise in developing course material and structured training programmes. The collaboration to offer an Inflight Service Diploma programme not only provides an opportunity for the public to learn about our industry but also provides a pool of trained candidates for the industry. Timing of the programme ties in well with the expansion plan of the airline where we are targeting to offer over 1,000 customer services jobs this year. ”

“To cope with the robust growth in the tourism industry, the local airline industry needs another 3,000 flight attendants in these two years,” said Prof. Lui Yu-hon, Director of Li Ka Shing Institute of Professional and Continuing Education (LiPACE), OUHK. “Our programme aims to help people who wish to become flight attendants to gain a basic understanding of civil aviation industry and acquire sufficient working knowledge about inflight service as well as effective languages, communication and grooming skills. Students will also learn to develop the proper mindset and skills to achieve excellence in customer service.”

The “Professional Diploma in Inflight Service” programme can be completed by approximately two months of full-time study. Students have to complete seven courses including Essential Knowledge of Civil Aviation, English for Inflight Service, Putonghua for Inflight Service, Professional Image and Presentation Skills, Aircraft Safety, Inflight Customer Service as well as Inflight Service Skills. All courses except Putonghua and Cantonese language skills will be conducted in English.

The programme consists of about 250 class hours of which about half will be delivered by experienced trainers from Cathay Pacific. Students will have the opportunity to practice in an inflight setting at Cathay City in the Hong Kong International Airport. Graduates will receive a Professional Diploma in Inflight Services jointly awarded by OUHK LiPACE and Cathay Pacific.

“We are confident that outstanding students will have a greater competitive edge in getting a flight attendant post. Given their language skills and hospitality knowledge, their career prospects will not be confined to the airline industry,” Prof. Lui said.

The programme will commence with two intakes in August and October with no more than 24 students each. The tuition fee is $27,800. The programme is applying for inclusion in the reimbursement course list of the Continuing Education Fund and successful applicants will be reimbursed a maximum sum of $10,000.

Applicants must have five passes in the HKCEE including English (Syllabus B) and basic skills in speaking Putonghua and Cantonese and may be invited to an admission interview. Information seminars will be held on 18 and 25 June and feature speakers from OUHK LiPACE and Cathay Pacific. Programme details and enrolment methods are available at www.ouhk.edu.hk/PDIFS. Enquiries can be made by calling LiPACE at 3120 9988.
Prof. John Leong (second left), President of The Open University of Hong Kong, and Ms. Quince Chong (second right), Director Service Delivery of Cathay Pacific Airways, have signed on a giant certificate to mark the launch of the Professional Diploma in Inflight Service programme. On the two sides are Prof. Y. H. Lui (left), Director of LiPACE OUHK and Ms. Eliza Li, Manager Training & Development, Cathay Pacific Airways.A Cathay Pacific flight attendant is serving Ms. Quince Chong (right), Director Service Delivery of Cathay Pacific Airways and Prof. John Leong, President of The Open University of Hong Kong, in a mock-up cabin.

Media enquiries:
Ms. Gladys Tang
Public Affairs Unit, The Open University of Hong Kong
Tel: 2768 6362 Fax: 2789 0323 Email: sctang@ouhk.edu.hk

Ms. Kandy Chan
Corporate Communication Manager (Public Relations)
Cathay Pacific Airways
Tel: 2747 5211 Fax: 2141 5211 Email: kandy_chan@cathaypacific.com