Cathay Pacific models mark 60 years – from Betsy to Boeing
23 Jan 2006
Cathay Pacific Airways is celebrating its 60-year fleet history - from Betsy to Boeing - with the release of 12 limited edition scale models of aircraft that carried the airline from one man's dream to a major network carrier.
Each model, with its own serial number, has been created in meticulous detail. The first three are of the Douglas DC3, affectionately named by the airline's pioneering founder Roy Farrell as 'Betsy', a Catalina seaplane and a Douglas DC4 Skymaster.
Other historic models released each month during the airline's 60th Anniversary year will chart Cathay Pacific's pioneering progress from "Betsy" to the arrival of the green and white livery Boeing 747-400 used to operate the world's first non-stop flights from Hong Kong to Los Angeles.
The World War II-era DC3 was one of the best-loved aircraft in the history of aviation, and formed the backbone of the Cathay Pacific fleet into the 1950s. An estimated 1,000 DC3 still fly today. The original "Betsy' is on permanent display in the Hong Kong Science Museum.
Roy Farrell embarked on the first-ever commercial flight in Betsy, from Sydney to Shanghai, via Hong Kong, on 28 February 1946, carrying woollen knitwear. Betsy made her last flight from the same Sydney airport on 18 September 1983 as she and a Cathay Pacific B747-200 took off together back to Hong Kong.
The Catalina was brought into service with Cathay Pacific in late 1946, primarily to shuttle gold between Hong Kong and Macau. The lack of an airstrip in Macau in those days meant landing on water was the only way.
The Douglas DC4 Skymaster was the first Cathay Pacific aircraft to offer real inflight comfort. The first one joined the airline in 1949 and its four engines and longer range brought regional cities such as Singapore and Bangkok a lot closer with shorter travel times.
There will be strictly limited production of 6,000 of each model aircraft. Each will have a numbered certificate of authentication in its specially designed presentation box. The first 100 in each series will be auctioned for charity, as will those bearing numbers considered lucky in Chinese culture, such as "888".
The price of each is $400 and they can only be purchased either from the Cathay Pacific office in the Peninsula Office Tower, Tsim Sha Tsui, inflight, or at special roadshows planned for Hong Kong later in the year. Models can also be purchased from on the Online Shop section of the Cathay Pacific web site.
Cathay Pacific Airways Manager Marketing Communication Celine Ho said: "Cathay Pacific and Hong Kong have developed hand in hand. Our growth and modernisation has reflected that of the city. Each successive aircraft signalled the start of a new chapter in our and Hong Kong's history and these models are a great way to commemorate that."
Contact: 2747-5393, 2747-5363