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Cathay Pacific's Second 'I Can Fly' Programme Dares Kids To Dream

21 May 2005

Cathay Pacific Airways today assembled for the first time the 1,000 students and their pilot leaders selected to take part in the second "I Can Fly" programme, which was created by the airline to inspire young Hong Kong people to seek and reach for their dreams.

This year, more than 4,000 people aged between 13 and 18 years from more than 400 local schools applied to join the programme – an increase of about one-third on the number of application received for the first “I Can Fly” programme. Some 100 Cathay Pacific staff volunteers will help the youngsters during community service activities.

The programme will get underway in earnest in June when members, led by Cathay Pacific pilots, will start a ground school to learn the basics about aviation. Pilots will act as mentors throughout the 15-month programme.

"I Can Fly" is unique, not only because of its scale, but because it dares Hong Kong kids to strive for success. To be selected, programme members had to explain their dreams and reasons for joining. Here are comments made by some.

"I want to know more people, help them, lift myself up and shine on others."
- Ka Wai Pang

"My dream is to fly to poor places and give medical care to the needy."
- Jennifer Chan

"I want to spread love everywhere by becoming a pilot and uniting people with their loved ones."
- Vincent Leung.

Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Philip Chen hosted the inaugural ceremony at the Open Piazza, Olympian City 2. He was joined by Norman Lo, Director-General of The Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department and Paul Tang, Director of Social Welfare. They were joined by members of the first "I Can Fly" Programme and 40 PolyU students who will help as student co-ordinators in community service projects.

Secretary for Economic Development and Labour Stephen Ip is the programme’s Patron. The “I Can Fly” programme will run for 15 months until August 2006. Some of the best participants will earn the chance to visit the Boeing or Airbus aircraft factories in the United States and France, while others will fly for real at Cathay Pacific’s pilot academy in Adelaide, Australia.

Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Philip Chen said: "Cathay Pacific's "I Can Fly" programme is unique among youth programme in Hong Kong and probably around the world in both its size, involving 1,000 local youngsters over 15 months, and it combines the essence of social service and aviation know-how. We hope it spurs an interest in aviation among local youngsters and supports the long-term development of industry in Hong Kong."

"The tremendous success of the first 'I Can Fly' has captured the imagination of everyone who wanted to take part this time, including our pilots and staff volunteers who will do their best to lead our programme members towards their goals."

Supporting Organisers of the programme include Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department, Social Welfare Department, Airport Authority, Government Flying Service, Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Limited, Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited, Airbus and Boeing. The Hong Kong Polytechnic University is also one of the supporting organisers and 40 students will act as programme co-ordinators and be the key communicators between Cathay Pacific pilots and the members throughout the programme year.

1,000 members, pilot leaders and staff volunteer assembled at Cathay Pacific's second "I Can Fly" programme inaugural ceremonyOfficiating guests including Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Philip Chen (fifth from left), HK Civil Aviation Department Director-General Norman Lo (fifth from right) and Director of Social Welfare Paul Tang (fourth from left) demonstrates the “I Can Fly” sign at the ceremony
Director of Social Welfare Paul Tang hosts the flag handover ceremonyCathay Pacific pilots will act as mentors throughout the 15-month programme

For Further Information Please Contact:
Kandy Chan, Corporate Communication Manager, Public Relations, (852) 2747-5211
Judy Kwan, Asst Corp Communication Manager, Public Relations, (852) 2747 5362