Cathay Pacific

Hong Kong International Airport

Cathay Pacific is an airline from Hong Kong. Your home airport as well as the company's headquarters is the international airport of Hong Kong. Cathay Pacific is derived from the old name of China, Cathay, and the former vision of the founders, one day across the Pacific to fly from.

  • 3.1 Historic Fleet


Cathay Pacific started as a very small company which expanded rapidly and rose to become one of the largest and leading airlines worldwide. According to Skytrax it belongs next to Asiana Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Kingfisher Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines to the seven five -star airlines in the world (as of January 2011).


The airline was founded on 24 September 1946 by the Australian pilot Sydney H. de Kantzow and the U.S. Ex - air force pilots Roy C. Farrell with the symbolic contribution in the amount of a Hong Kong dollar. According to legend, the two men are said to have agreed in " Manila Hotel " in the same city on the company. The two former Air Force cargo pilot first took a charter flight operating on two aircraft of type DC-3. They transported both passengers and cargo from Hong Kong to Shanghai. There were other connections to Manila, Bangkok, Singapore and Sydney.

The company expanded rapidly and in 1948 acquired one of the leading trading companies in Hong Kong Butterfield & Swire (now Swire Pacific Limited ) 45 percent of the company shares. Under the leadership of John Kidston Swires Butterfield & Swire took over responsibility for the management of Cathay Pacific. The Swire Group increased its stake in the course to 70 per cent.


In the years to 1960, the company expanded steadily. In 1959 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong its major competitors Airways ( a subsidiary of BOAC ). One enlarged and modernized the fleet - 1959 type aircraft Lockheed L -188 Electra and 1962 aircraft, the Convair 880 - and led separate classes in the passenger compartments a: There was now the First Class and Economy Class. New routes complemented the flight plan, you flew Osaka, Fukuoka and Nagoya in Japan.

The sixties also brought the introduction to jet age - the first "real " Jet was the Convair 880 was followed by the Boeing 707 At this time, Cathay Pacific was one of the most successful airlines in Asia.

In 1966, Cathay had transported a total of more than one million passengers.

New goals

The company grew and prospered during the 1970s. As the first large aircraft in the company, the Lockheed TriStar was introduced at this time. Cathay Pacific has benefited from the global boom that boosted the aviation industry in the 1980s and Cathay Pacific encouraged an expansion of flight operations to Europe. For these long-haul connections to managed aircraft to Boeing 747-200. The first flight to Europe took place on 17 July 1980, the target was London Gatwick Airport ( London Heathrow today will be served ). Other destinations in Europe followed. Since 1984, there are direct flights to Frankfurt am Main.

Asian recession

Economic setbacks for Cathay Pacific during the great recession, the Asia recorded the mid-1990s. To remedy the situation, there was a fleet renewal program with the aim of the elderly TriStars and later the older Jumbos (Boeing 747-200/-300 ) to replace. A corporate reorganization was undertaken in 1994 and a new corporate design developed, whereby the two green and a white stripe ( "sandwich" ) on the logo of the airline by the "Brush Wing" were replaced. The new design should not be missed by the white brush stroke on a turquoise background of the airline a more Asian look, as coined by the British colonial period simple sandwich. As a result, the Union Jack was removed from the aircraft and proudly declares, it was operating from the heart of Asia.

Return of Hong Kong to China

In view of the return of Hong Kong to China, the Swire Group disposed of the majority of shares in Cathay. The Chinese investor group " CITIC " took over 25 percent, two smaller Chinese companies ( " CNAC " and " CTS " ) also took over the shares. Currently holds Swire still 44.97 percent of the shares, while Air China Ltd.. 29.99 percent has taken over from the other investors.

Despite the Chinese investments Britons still form a majority in management. In the pilot corps especially Australians, British, Canadians and New Zealanders are active.

Domestic flights in the Philippines

Due to the temporary suspension of air operations of Philippine Airlines during the Asian crisis led Cathay Pacific at the request of the Philippine government in 1998 daily charter flights from Manila to Cebu, Davao, Cagayan de Oro and Bacolod by. Preparations in Hong Kong amounted for the special use not more than 48 hours - the fastest start-up operation in the history of civil aviation.

Hong Kong Super Hub

Following the closure of Hong Kong's Kai Tak airport in July 1998, Cathay Pacific the new Hong Kong International Airport made ​​to their new aviation hub. The airline has there today luxurious passenger accommodations that are made ​​especially for business travelers to complete.


As early 2003, the SARS outbreak made ​​headlines around the world, the air traffic in Asia broke at times a total. Many flights were canceled and on the flights that took place, the passenger numbers fell drastically. Cathay Pacific was also thereof affected, but could be like most other airlines in the region will soon recover from the crisis. Cathay Pacific is one of the few airlines that can draw in times of crisis, no government support and thus had to compensate for all losses resulting from the SARS crisis of its own financial resources.

Expansion to China

In the coming years, the airline aims to expand into China since 2003 and flies to Beijing. In January 2005, Xiamen was to join them. Shanghai is currently served twice daily by Cathay Pacific. All other daily services, as well as the approach of the city near Shanghai Hongqiao Airport are taken over by the subsidiary Dragonair. In addition, there are freight connections to Shanghai. It has cooperation agreements with based in Beijing, Air China, is involved in the Cathay to 10 percent.

In 1990, Cathay Pacific moved from China all the way back, leaving their routes its subsidiary, Dragonair. The re-entry into the Chinese market is justified by the increasing demand for flights between Hong Kong and mainland China. In 2002, Dragonair decided to fly to Taipei and thus compete directly with the nut on the all-important route for the region. It is sometimes suggested that this is a further impetus for the re-entry Cathays in the PRC.


Cathay Pacific serves 52 destinations in 28 countries. Cathay Pacific flies from Hong Kong for example, directly to Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Vancouver and Toronto Pearson. In Europe, Amsterdam, Rome, Milan, Paris and London are operated. In German-speaking only Frankfurt is served.


As of November 2013, the fleet of 144 aircraft from Cathay Pacific is with an average age of 9.5 years:

In 2005, in cooperation with Boeing and Taeco, one operating in Xiamen for business aircraft conversions, world's first Boeing 747-400 transformed into the passenger version in the freight version of the Boeing 747- 400BCFs and handed over to the Cathay Pacific.

Naval History

In its history, Cathay Pacific also operated machines of the Avro Anson, Consolidated PBY Catalina, Douglas DC-3, DC -4 and DC-6, Lockheed L -188 Electra, Bristol Britannia, Convair 880, Boeing 707-320, Airbus A340- 200, Boeing 747 -200B and -300 and Lockheed L- 1011-100 TriStar, of which she was the largest operator outside the United States. In addition, Cathay flew the first company in Asia Airbus A340- 600, which has now been scrapped.



  • Cathay Pacific offers participation in frequent flyer programs Asia Miles and Marco Polo Club.