Cathay Pacific Airways is an international airline registered and based in Hong Kong. The airline offers scheduled cargo and passenger services to over 90 destinations around the world. Cathay Pacific Airways was founded by American Roy C Farrell and Australian Sydney H de Kantzow in Hong Kong, on September 24, 1946. Initially based in Shanghai, the airline was later on moved to its present location - Hong Kong. It holds the distinction of being one out of the six airlines in the world, to carry a five-star rating from Skytrax, a United Kingdom-based consultancy. Learn about the history and profile of Cathay Pacific Airways, in the following lines.
Cathay Pacific Airways initially operated flights to Manila, Bangkok, Singapore and Shanghai. The airline started its operations with a single Douglas DC-3, popularly known as Betsy. During the first few years after its inception, Cathay Pacific Airways plied its flights between Hong Kong, Sydney, Manila, Singapore, Shanghai and Canton. However, the scheduled flights service was confined to Bangkok, Manila and Singapore. In 1948, one of Hong Kong's leading trading companies - Butterfield & Swire - purchased 45% shares of the airline. Under its management, the airline began its operations on July 1, 1948. It was registered as Cathay Pacific Ltd, in October 1948. The share of Butterfield & Swire was later on increased to 52%.
The decade of 1960s was a golden period in the history of Cathay Pacific Airways. It was at this time, when the airline flourished and acquired Hong Kong Airways. Cathay Pacific recorded an all-time high of double digit growth, from 1962 to 1967. It prospered thereafter and managed to acquire its first jet-engined aircraft - Convair 880. Subsequently, the airline began its international routes - it began to fly to Japan and London. The airline acquired its first Boeing 747 aircraft in 1979. In 1990, Cathay Pacific Airway, along with its parent company, acquired a massive shareholding of Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Limited (operating as Dragonair). As much as 75% of the cargo airline Air Hong Kong was also acquired by Cathay Pacific Airway.
After undergoing a realignment in the shareholding, Dragonair became a wholly owned subsidiary of Cathay Pacific Airway, in 2006. Cathay celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2006. As a part of the celebrations, a year of road shows named 'Cathay Pacific 60th Anniversary Skyshow' were organized. Over the years, the airline has received a number of awards for its excellence in the field of civil aviation. The airline started plying on new routes, as it expanded its business, with the passing time. Moreover, it has increased its frequency to many of its destinations, including Paris and Shanghai.
Fleet And Destinations
The fleet of Cathay Pacific Airways consists of 98 aircrafts, which includes Airbus A330-300, Airbus A340-300, Boeing 777-200, Boeing 777-300, Boeing 777-300ER and Boeing 747-400. The passenger aircrafts of Cathay Pacific serve as many as 46 destinations worldwide, while its Cargo service is confined to 58 destinations. Both passenger and cargo aircraft fly through 29 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, North America and Oceania. In India, Cathay Pacific Airways flies to Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.