When CX105 touched down at Adelaide International Airport yesterday morning, it was not only the 3,578th Cathay Pacific flight to arrive in the city, it also marked the 20th anniversary – to the day – that the Hong Kong headquartered airline commenced flights to South Australia.
A crowd of almost 100 people gathered to celebrate Cathay Pacific’s 20th anniversary of flights into Adelaide including the airline’s new General Manager Southwest Pacific Dominic Perret, along with Vince Scanlon from Adelaide Airport Limited and Karyn Kent from South Australian Tourism Commission.
The flight, as 20 years ago, was captained by a South Australian. In 1992, it was Captain Trevor Burgess, while Captain Ben Briggs was at the controls yesterday.
On 4 October 1992 Cathay Pacific commenced flights to Adelaide with a weekly service to Hong Kong. Passengers were encouraged into taking “shop overs” en route to European and Asian destinations, and holiday packages including flights, hotels, tours and transfers were sold from $1,219 per person.
Since that time, Cathay Pacific has increased its flights from one to seven per week, steadily increasing its carriage of passengers and cargo. The Airline anticipates it will bring 50,000 people into Adelaide during the 2012 calendar year.
“We have a great partnership with South Australia, not only in terms of commitment to Adelaide and to bringing tourists to the State, but also taking South Australians to the rest of the world,” said Dominic Perret, General Manager Cathay Pacific Southwest Pacific.
“Adelaide is an important part of our Australian and indeed global network and is also one of the first cities in the world to have Cathay Pacific aircraft with the acclaimed new Economy Class and Premium Economy cabins as well as the ‘World’s Best Business Class’ according to the Skytrax Awards 2012,” he said.
“Like Captains Burgess and Briggs, many Cathay Pacific pilots are Australian and indeed since 1994 many have been trained at Flight Training Adelaide. In fact, by the end of this year more than 800 Cathay cadets will have graduated from the facility.
Cargo has also played an important part in the airline’s business in South Australia. “Over the years air cargo has really developed, particularly in the export of seafood with crayfish, tuna, oysters, mussels and kingfish shipped out to Asia and Europe and Cathay has always enjoyed great support from the local cargo agents and shippers,” added Perret.
The airline also acknowledged the strong partnership it has with Adelaide Airport and South Australian Tourism Commission.
Karyn Kent, Director of Sales and International at the South Australian Tourism Commission, congratulated Cathay Pacific on this important milestone.
“Over the past twenty years we’ve built a strong partnership with Cathay Pacific, successfully promoting South Australia as an attractive holiday destination to key international markets such as the UK and Europe. Like most tourism organisations in Australia, we are now heavily focused on attracting the rapidly growing Chinese market to our regions and Cathay Pacific plays an integral role in this strategy.”
Vince Scanlon, General Manager – Airport Operations, Adelaide Airport Limited said, “Adelaide Airport congratulates Cathay Pacific on 20 years of service to Adelaide and looks forward to a bright and prosperous future together.”
Source = Cathay Pacific