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March 21, 2012
Cathay Pacific - StudioCX Oscars Special 2012
Post by Tracy Wong
We are bringing the Oscars on board. A collection of this year’s nominated and award winning films is coming to StudioCX in April. Which one is your winner?
(Full collection is available for aircraft equipped with AVOD system)
February 24, 2012
Ice and easy does it
Post by Joyce Wong
The team in Anchorage have their own way of keeping operations going as temperatures plummet to as low as -30°C.
When CX World visited Anchorage in late January it was a relatively mild two degrees below zero Celsius (28°F) and the sky was deep blue. Winter really bared its teeth just a few days later with a blizzard sweeping across Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport and temperatures plunging to -12°C.
The 17 staff working in ANC – 11 in the Cargo team and six from Engineering – take such weather extremes in their stride as they work around the clock, 365 days a year.
The teams have worked in temperatures as low as -30°C with the wind chill factor taking it down to -40°C.
“We just put on extra clothing and keep the vehicles running all the time … you learn to deal with the cold and be prepared for it,” says Kevin Miller, Cargo Manager Anchorage. Winter in Anchorage usually starts in October and lasts until mid-April, with sub-zero temperatures the norm.
This winter has seen below-zero temperatures for three months and January was the
lowest average temperature ever recorded. Snowfall in the Anchorages area averages 77 inches but this season looks on track to break the record of 132 inches for the season.
The Anchorage team is kept on its toes dealing with anywhere between 60 and 70 flights a week, rising to almost 80 in peak years.
The recent airfreight slump has resulted in more cancelled services, but ANC is still the second-busiest cargo port in the network. Such a big operation brings its fair share of challenges, including manpower issues.
“The biggest issues arise when we have multiple aircraft on the ground at the same time but just a couple of staff on roster,” says Kevin. “If something goes wrong, such as a technical problem, it throws a spanner in the works, so the ability to multitask is a must because handling requires quick responses to last-minute changes.”
Winter brings its own challenges, says Kevin. “Not only does the cold make everything move slower, but it affects visibility and increases overweight conditions. Snow contamination on runways is a big problem especially if aircraft are already at maximum weight.
Not to mention de-icing challenges. “After de-icing there is only a short window to get the aircraft airborne – if they miss they will need to come back to the gate to get de-iced again, which could affect crew duty times,” he explains.
Kevin says the airport authority in Anchorage does a great job keeping its huge fleet of snow ploughs moving to keep runways in service. “They have won numerous awards for their ability to keep the airport operational,” he says.
When asked what’s best about working in ANC, Kevin responds “the teamwork”. The worst thing is the long winters, “but the long summer days are worth the wait, and it’s nice to drive with the top down at midnight with your sunglasses on!”
February 23, 2012
Inflight Cellar is First Class
Post by Joyce Wong
Cathay Pacific’s expertise in selecting the world’s finest wines for passengers was recognised at the annual Cellars in the Sky Awards held in London on 6 February.
CX won the Most Improved Business Class Cellar award as well as the Best First Class Fortified Wine for the Ramos Pinto 10 Years Quinta Da Ervamoira at the competition, organised by Business Traveller magazine. The Champagne Amour de Deutz 2002 was runner-up in the Best First Class Sparkling Wine category.
Manager Catering Services Charles Grossrieder says the awards acknowledge the skill and dedication of the airline’s wine experts. “We aim to provide passengers with a superior travel experience which includes offering the chance to sample some of the world’s finest wines and matching these perfectly with the unique flavours of our inflight cuisine,” he says.
December 22, 2011
Cathay Pacific welcomes the 40 millionth visitor to Hong Kong
Post by Joyce Wong
Nancy Ryan, who hails from the United States, is the 40 millionth visitor to Hong Kong.
Cathay Pacific and the Hong Kong Tourism Board jointly welcomed the 40 millionth visitor to Hong Kong at a reception held at the iconic Peninsula Hotel yesterday.
The lucky visitor is U.S. resident Nancy Ryan, who flew to Hong Kong from Chicago on a Cathay Pacific direct flight. She is accompanied by her sister Muffy Lerner, Muffy’s husband Alexander Lerner and their daughter, Lindsey Lerner.
Director Corporate Affairs Quince Chong was on hand to congratulate the winner.
“The fact that she flew in from Chicago in the United States has a special significance for our airline,” said Quince.
“The U.S., which we have been serving for more than 20 years, is one of our most important markets, and Chicago is our newest destination in the States,” she said. “We launched a daily flight to this fantastic city, the gateway to the US Midwest, in July this year, and it’s been very well received by passengers.”
This is Nancy’s first trip to Hong Kong, but the second for Alexander and Muffy.
Alexander and Muffy flew to Hong Kong via San Francisco in February 2010 to spend the Chinese New Year in Hong Kong and Shanghai. The family unanimously decided to visit Hong Kong again this Christmas— this time for a longer duration.
Alexander Lerner flew with CX for both trips. He was full of praise for the airline’s service and new Business Class product.
Alexander Lerner (second left), Muffy Lerner (third left), and Lindsey Lerner (second right) joined Nancy on her Hong Kong trip.
Nancy recieved two CX Business Class tickets from Chicago to Hong Kong as a gift.
November 18, 2011
Introducing the Hong Kong Trader – highlighting CX commitment to home city
Post by Joyce Wong
A new freighter with a unique livery will carry a special message about Cathay Pacific’s commitment to developing its home city as a major trading hub.
Hong Kong Trader is the second Boeing 747-8F to enter the fleet and features a special livery that showcases Hong Kong’s dramatic skyline. The name Hong Kong Trader is taken from CX’s original 747 that was bought from British Airways and began flying to Europe and within the region in 1982.
The delivery of B-LJA didn’t go according to the original schedule but it finally took off from the Boeing factory in Seattle on Tuesday and arrived at HKIA at 9.47pm on Wednesday – just in time to be moved in front of the Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal for its starring role at Thursday’s topping-out ceremony.
Hong Kong Trader was piloted from Seattle by Gregory Brown, John Graham, Martin Baldacci and Stephen Shaw. There was a welcoming party to greet the new arrival with staff from CX, Boeing and engine manufacturer GE.
Director Cargo Nick Rhodes flew to Seattle to accept the aircraft last month and was interviewed by Boeing about the significance of Hong Kong Trader and why CX was excited about the delivery of the Dash 8s.
To view the Boeing video:
November 18, 2011
How Things Work - Weighing an Aircraft
Post by Joyce Wong
Weighing a plane takes up to half a day, requires multiple heavy duty scales and involves a team of up to 10 Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) mechanics.
It is a complex affair, but one that is essential, since the weight of a plane is integral to safety and efficiency in flight. The weight of a plane is closely linked to how the components of a plane are configured. The weight and centre of gravity also affects the characteristics of flight, such as fuel efficiency and maneuverability.
Although Airbus and Boeing already have figures regarding their aircrafts’ weight at the time of delivery, which includes structural and cabin components, their figures do not reflect the weight of crew, potable water and other operation equipments essential for service. The Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department requires all Hong Kong-registered carriers to weigh newly-acquired planes after the first two years in service. Planes must be weighed at five-year intervals thereafter.
A plane also goes back on the scales every time it goes through a cabin retrofit, as the weight distribution would have changed.
All CX aircraft are weighed at HAECO or TAECO. After the initial measurements are taken, the figures will be sent to Cabin Engineering for follow-up calculations. The numbers will then be relayed on to Cargo and Airports, who has to adjust the plane’s load according to its weight.
October 24, 2011
Adelaide goes non-stop three times weekly
Post by Joyce Wong
From 24 November, Cathay Pacifi c will convert three of its seven weekly Adelaide to Hong Kong flights to non-stop
services. All fl ights currently go via Melbourne.
“Cathay Pacifi c has been fl ying to Adelaide since 1992 and we’ve seen growth in demand from travellers in the business, leisure and student markets, particularly to and from China,” says General Manager Southwest Pacific Dane
The airline will operate an Airbus A330 on the route in a two-class – Business and Economy Class – configuration
until 24 March 2012. The new CX174/173 service means passengers arrive in Hong Kong at 2.30pm giving them time to connect to 45 destinations worldwide on the same day, including cities around Asia, the Middle East, North America and even a same-day arrival in London.
The CX104/5 service will continue to follow a HKG-ADLMEL-HKG routing on the other four days. “This is the first time CX has added fl ights on this route for the Australian summer period and it is also the first time for us to have a non-stop fl ight to or from Adelaide,” says Business Development Manager SA/NT Roz Meertens.
“The expectation is that the new Adelaide fl ight will perform strongly.” The team is focusing the promotion on highlighting the ease of connections. “The target market is across many segments and incorporates both leisure and corporate travellers,” Roz says.
Overall, it’s been a challenging year for the Australian market.
“There’s been a large increase in capacity by competitors operating to/from Australia and since the start of the year
we’ve seen very aggressive pricing initiatives introduced by our competitors,” Roz says.
“This has had an impact on our back end performance. At the same time, interestingly, the front end has performed
well, delivering an increase in both premium revenue and passenger numbers,” she adds.
Visit City Guides now to know more about the destination!
October 12, 2011
How Things Work: Refuelling an aircraft
Post by Joyce Wong
Refuelling an aircraft is a bit more complicated than refuelling a car.
In Hong Kong, jet fuel stored in mega-sized tanks at the Aviation Fuel Supply Company (AFSC) is pumped through underground pipes to various hydrant pits at the parking bays.
Refuellers use trucks equipped with hoses to connect a pit to the aircraft fuel inlet on the wing. As fuel is uploaded, the aircraft’s computer system uses sensors and valves to achieve the optimum distribution of fuel in the tanks located inside the wings, the belly, and even the tail on some aircraft.
Refuelling may take up to 90 minutes for a long-haul flight. A flight from Hong Kong to Paris, for instance, will need 35,408 US gallons of fuel, whereas a flight from Paris to Amsterdam will only need a tenth of that. In contrast, a car needs 13 US gallons of fuel for a full tank. (A US gallon equals approximately 3.8 litres.)
The amount of fuel for any given flight has three components: fuel for the estimated flight time, fuel to be used in case of a diversion and the minimum amount of fuel as standby reserve. The minimum reserve fuel differs for each aircraft but is required by law and cannot be used up in the normal course of the trip.
The airline’s fuel suppliers differ from port to port. An airport may have a single local supplier while another will have a full range of international suppliers. When the airport has no underground hydrant system, fuel is delivered to the aircraft by mobile bowser units.
But, no matter where or how the aircraft is refuelled, it is the engineers’ job to ensure the high quality of the fuel. They use sampling tanks in the refuelling trucks to check that the fuel is free of water, dirt and other contaminants. There are also procedures and checks in place that ensure fuel is safe at all times right from the refinery all the way to the aircraft.
October 3, 2011
Artistic reward for top agents - exclusive paintings of CX aircraft
Post by Joyce Wong
For the past six years, some lucky travel agents in Canada have been presented with exclusive paintings of CX aircraft as thank you gifts for supporting the airline.
The idea was first touted by Sales Manager Western Canada Chris Vanden Hooven who says the team was wanted to give the top accounts something that was unique, desirable and original.
“I met the artist Dan Fallwell in 1995 in Calgary, Alberta when he was a sales executive for Canadian Airlines. I knew he had a special talent and specialised in aviation paintings,” Chris says.
“It was an unexpected honour to have CX approach me with the idea of painting Cathay Pacific’s past, present and future aircraft,” Dan says. “I’ve also had the opportunity to see some of my creations hanging in many corporate and travel offices.
Dan worked in the airline business for 25 years before retiring in 1997 and he says it was natural he would be drawn to painting aviation-themed paintings.
“I’m basically been a self-taught artist and have been drawing and painting since I was a teenager. I started mostly in oils and then switched to watercolour some years ago, which I now much prefer,” he says.
So far four aircraft paintings, the DC3 (Betsy), Catalina, DC6, and the Electra, have been presented to travel agents.
A further eight or nine are in the pipeline including the Boeing 707, L1011 Tristar, Boeing 747-200, Boeing 747-300, Boeing 747-400, A330 (100th aircraft livery), A340 (oneworld livery), Boeing 777-300ER (Spirit of Hong Kong livery) and the A350-900.
”However if CX orders a new aircraft type in the future we may extend the collection further,” Chris says.
Dan says most of the paintings have taken him about 20 hours to complete.
“I have two favourite paintings in the CX series – the DC3 and the L1011 which is flying over Hong Kong on approach to the old Kai Tak Airport. I’m also looking forward to completing the paintings of the B777-300 as well as the A350-900,” Dan says.
For every painting only 50 numbered prints are created for distribution with the original staying in the CX Town Office in Vancouver.
As they are not sold and only presented as special gifts to the port’s top producing agents, each has become a real collector’s item.
”Most of our top agents do have the complete set so far,” Chris says. “Though we have a couple of accounts that missed the first one or two and are determined to collect the rest in the future!”
BRUSH STROKES: Dan Fallwell’s CX aircraft paintings have become collector’s items.