22 Sep 2006
More than 3,000 people, headed by Donald Tsang, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, joined a spectacular gala event held at Sha Tin Racecourse tonight to celebrate Cathay Pacific’s 60th anniversary. Guest of Honour Mr. Tsang officiated at a ceremony to mark the airline’s 60 years of serving Hong Kong together with Cathay Pacific Chairman Christopher Pratt and Chief Executive Philip Chen.
The grand gala party, named “On Diamond Wings”, highlighted the airline’s pride at being Hong Kong’s home carrier since 1946 as well as its commitment to moving into the future with Hong Kong and further developing the city’s position as one of the world’s premier aviation hubs. The party was attended by a host of VIPs including senior representatives from the Hong Kong SAR Government, senior Government and aviation officials from the People’s Republic of China, local and international aviation officials, key business partners and agents, and a number of the airline’s most important customers.
Speaking at the ceremony, Chairman Christopher Pratt said: “Today is a very proud moment for everyone associated with Cathay Pacific as we celebrate the 60th birthday of Hong Kong’s airline, an airline that has grown from humble beginnings to be widely acknowledged to be one of the best in the world. Cathay Pacific’s achievements are testament to the dedication and diligence of its staff and management as well as to the fortitude, determination and faith of its shareholders.
"I believe that Cathay Pacific’s distinguishing qualities are the very same qualities that have transformed Hong Kong into the unique, dynamic and cosmopolitan major world city of today. Namely, a willingness to embrace change and to see it not as a threat but as an opportunity, and a belief that given equality of opportunity we can beat anyone. Hong Kong is an astonishing success story and I’d like to think that Cathay Pacific has played its part."
Chief Executive Donald Tsang helped to launch the night’s programme of events that begin with the “Walking on Air” show in which cabin crew performed a stylish parade of Cathay Pacific uniforms from the past 60 years. The airline’s Chief Executive Philip Chen then made a presentation to 11 members of the airline’s Marco Polo Club who have each flown more than 3 million miles with Cathay Pacific. Three of the longest-serving Marco Polo Club members, each of whom joined in the 1960s, were also honoured in a separate presentation made by former Cathay Pacific Chairman Duncan Bluck. Among the performers on the night was Hong Kong singing star Frances Yip, herself a former employee of Cathay Pacific.
One of the evening’s highlights was the unveiling of Cathay Pacific’s “Future Innovations”, which gave guests an exclusive preview of the next generation of the airline’s long-haul inflight products across all three classes. The new cabins will feature state-of-the-art seats that are bigger, wider and more comfortable, including a fully flat bed in Business Class, helping Cathay Pacific retain its position as one of the world’s premier carriers. The rollout of the products will begin in January 2007.
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