Cathay Pacific is an Asian airline with headquarters in Hong Kong, China. Its main hub is the Hong Kong International Airport, from where it operates flights to 50 destinations in Asia, Europe, Africa, North America, and Oceania. It is one of the six unique airlines that has been awarded the five star rating by Skytrax.
The airline was founded in Hong Kong on September 24, 1946 by Roy Farrell and Sydney de Kantzow, both retired air force pilots, the former American the latter Australian, and both familiar with the route to the Himalayan Mountains. Each one put in 1 Hong Kong dollar to register the airline. At the beginning they were established in Shanghai, but they finally moved to Hong Kong to start a new airline with Cathay Pacific. History tells us that the airline was conceived by Farrell and some foreigners in the hotel bar in Manila. They called it Cathay, since it was an ancient name given to China, and Pacific for the Pacific Ocean, because they believed that one day they would fly through Pacific Ocean to reach the United States. In the maiden flight, Roy Farrell and Sydney de Kantzow flew from Hong Kong to Manila, and later to Shanghai. Its only aircraft was a Douglas C-47.
The airline was very prosperous in the 60’s. It bought its rival Hong Kong Airways in 1959. In 1967 it acquired its first reaction engine, the Convair 880 and began international routes to Japan. By 1966 the airline had transported a million passengers. The expansion continued throughout the 1970s and especially in the 1980s, when a boom at the level of the entire airline industry caused the growth of the routes to many European centers and the airline went on the stock exchange in 1986. In January 1990, the airline and its owner company, Swire Pacific, acquired a significant part of the shares of Dragonair and 60 per cent of the cargo airline Air Hong Kong. Even so, the airline was touched by the Asian recession of the late 1990s, suffering a reorganization and developing a new identity.
In 2006 the airline celebrated its 60th anniversary and during this year it made performances on tour called the Cathay Pacific 60th Anniversary Skyshow, where the public could see the events of the airline during the past 60 years, play games, meet with airline staff and get a look at some of the airlines uniforms throughout its history. The airline also introduced some products on its 60th anniversary and inflight meals were catered by great Hong Kong restaurants, in collaboration with the celebrations.