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Old February 13th, 2009, 05:59 AM   #1301
hkskyline
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Cathay Pacific announces increase in passengers
12 February 2009
Agence France Presse

Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific Airways on Thursday announced improved passenger numbers, attributed to the Chinese New Year falling earlier, but a slump in cargo traffic.

The company and its China-focused unit, Dragonair, said in a statement they carried 2.09 million passengers in January, a year-on-year increase of 2.4 percent.

"Our passenger numbers grew in January, a result of the Chinese New Year peak falling one month earlier than in 2008, promotional activities, as well as more capacity being available to sell," said Tom Owen, the company's general manager for revenue management.

Despite the increase, the proportion of seats filled fell 2.8 percent from a year earlier to 79.5 percent, due to an increase in capacity.

The airline said a continuing slump in demand for first and business-class travel was partially offset by an increase in leisure travellers in Greater China and Southeast Asia.

Cathay Pacific said the outlook for demand in premium ticket classes remained "very weak."

Cargo traffic fell 26 percent from a year earlier to 101,154 metric tonnes, the company said.

The announcement came just a day after Cathay Pacific said it would expand its global cargo-carrying network with the launch of services to two new destinations in the United States.

"Output from the Pearl and Yangtze river deltas continued to fall and there was no pre-Chinese New Year rush this year to spur the market in Hong Kong," said Titus Diu, general manager for cargo sales and marketing.
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Old February 15th, 2009, 12:43 PM   #1302
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By ER2990~ from HKADB :





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Old February 16th, 2009, 09:28 AM   #1303
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Passenger's meltdown at airport is internet hit
15 February 2009
South China Morning Post

Most of us have suffered the frustration of missing a bus, train or plane, but few have reacted with as much unbridled hysteria as the woman passenger who missed a Cathay Pacific flight 11 days ago.

A video of the unidentified middle-aged passenger screaming at airline staff and throwing herself to the floor after arriving late at the departure gate at Chek Lap Kok has become an internet sensation.

By last night, 56,000 people had viewed the YouTube footage of the woman having a three-minute emotional meltdown. It appears to have been shot with a mobile phone by a member of ground staff.

When she learns the flight has closed and her luggage has been offloaded, the smartly dressed woman, travelling with her husband and another passenger, runs screaming towards the air bridge and is restrained by a security guard.

She then retreats and begins beating the desk at the departure gate. She wails at staff before throwing herself to the ground, screaming at Cathay staff: "This in inhumane, inhumane ... what am I going to do, what am I going to do?"

As she flails around, a clearly flabbergasted supervisor helps her husband hold on to her arms and tells her, "Calm down, calm down", offering to make arrangements for a later flight.

She continues to howl and scream at staff, and her grey-haired husband retreats from the fray, embarrassed.

The video was shot on February 4 when the couple, and a third person not seen in the video, arrived at 5.05pm at the boarding gate for flight CX782 to San Francisco - the time of the plane's scheduled departure.

"All passenger doors had already been closed, and the crew was preparing the flight for departure," a Cathay Pacific spokeswoman said. "As the passengers had failed to show up on time, we had already offloaded their checked baggage to comply with the security requirements.

"Our airport staff helped calm the female passenger and arranged for them to take a later flight, CX880, that evening to Los Angeles. As indicated in all CX boarding passes, passengers are always advised to arrive at the designated boarding gate no later than 20 minutes before the flight's scheduled departure time."

The next flight took off just a few hours later.

The identity of the person who shot the video remains a mystery, although it appears to have been filmed from a staff position. The person who posted it on YouTube removed it hours after the Sunday Morning Post asked the airline about the incident, but another copy surfaced the following day.

The original video was viewed 25,000 times and the second had by yesterday been watched around 31,000 times. The Cathay spokeswoman said there had been no internal inquiry into the posting. "We do not know who shot the video or who posted it on the Web," she said.

Most people who viewed it appeared far more impressed by the cool handling of the situation by Cathay staff rather than by the behaviour of the mystery woman passenger.

"Airline staff shouldn't have to put up with that cr**," one YouTube viewer remarked.
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Old February 16th, 2009, 12:00 PM   #1304
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I can't seem to find the video!
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Old February 16th, 2009, 04:05 PM   #1305
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siamu maharaj View Post
I can't seem to find the video!
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Old February 17th, 2009, 01:38 AM   #1306
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crazy... what did she miss in that 4 hrs....? jeez
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Old February 18th, 2009, 05:29 PM   #1307
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Probably she was having her period?
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Old February 18th, 2009, 05:31 PM   #1308
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Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong to Heathrow: Flight watch
A new economy seat from Cathay Pacific impresses Adrian Bridge on a flight from Hong Kong to London Heathrow.
We have all experienced that sinking feeling when, having just settled in for a long flight, there is a sudden jerky movement ahead and, whoosh, the seat in front comes sliding back to what feels like three inches away from your nose. Moments before you had been looking forward to catching up with some reading or watching a few movies, and enjoying a meal and a glass or two of wine.

Now the whole experience threatens to turn into an ordeal. Until recently, you could escape from such a fate only by paying large amounts of money to head into business class (or even first). But a new seat introduced to the economy section of the Cathay Pacific fleet offers the possibility of being able to recline without encroaching on the space of the person behind. We put it to the test.

The flight: CX 251: Hong Kong to Heathrow

Duration: 13 hours 35 minutes

Class: Economy

On the ground

Hong Kong International Airport, built on reclaimed land on the island of Lantau, has won accolades for its slick style and facilities, and is a firm favourite of readers voting in the annual Telegraph Travel Awards. Since opening in 1998, it has undoubtedly also scored highly with fliers of a nervous disposition who, when landing at Hong Kong's old airport, had the ordeal of coming in too close for comfort to the territory's landmark high-rises.

Arriving at Hong Kong International Airport's Terminal 2 exactly two hours before take-off at 23.55, I was struck by the calm, almost serene atmosphere. Most passengers were quietly checking themselves in at the self-service kiosks; instead we joined a modest queue for the old-fashioned staffed check-in counters, reaching the front within 20 minutes. Security took just 10 minutes, leaving us plenty of time to admire the sleek lines of Norman Foster's work and the facilities (which include a cinema, two shopping malls and a golf course).

In the air

On arrival at our "fixed back" seats we discovered a small amenity kit containing socks, a toothbrush and toothpaste – a nice touch more commonly associated with business-class travel. Further bonuses include a small knob that serves as a coat hanger, and a laptop power supply. The in-flight entertainment system contained a selection of 50 films (viewable on a nine-inch screen attached to the seat in front), more than 100 television programmes, and some 80 games.

But my main interest was in the seat itself. It did not take long to work out how to switch it into the reclining position and to experience the novelty of changing the angle of your body without having to worry about those behind – or in front. At its maximum position, the seat enabled a recline as good as any achieved with more conventional seats and, though not exceptionally generous, the 32-inch seat pitch left enough space for the legs (even my 6ft 2in son said he felt comfortable).

Dinner consisted of a beef and rice option, or a pasta dish with caramelised parsnip and thyme sauce (hardly spectacular but perfectly edible). A sweetcorn salad provided a concession to slightly more health-conscious eaters, marred by the dessert, stodgy cake and cream, and a small bar of Cadbury's chocolate (a nice reminder of the historic British connection with Hong Kong, though). Service during the meal (and throughout the flight) was polished, friendly and efficient.

When it came to sleeping, the fact that the seat's headrest can be adjusted in a number of ways was also a considerable improvement on most economy arrangements (removing the need to bring your own inflatable neck pillow). I slept more than I would normally in economy class, though felt some extra foot support would have helped achieve the sense of lying down. I'd be lying to say it was the best night's sleep I've had, but it was certainly the most comfortable economy seat I have ever sat (and slept) in. And of course, it is a lot cheaper than flying business or first.
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Old February 20th, 2009, 08:45 PM   #1309
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Holiday boy killed by septic shock
4 February 2009
Hong Kong Standard

The six-year-old boy who died on his journey home from holiday in Malaysia succumbed to septic shock after catching a skin and throat infection, the Centre for Health Protection said.

Wong Siu-hang had been diagnosed by Malaysian health authorities as having contracted group A streptococcus infection.

``Group A streptococcus is a common human pathogen that causes skin and soft tissue infection, [and] sore throat ... It is transmitted through large respiratory droplets or direct contact with an infected patient,'' a spokeswoman for the center said. ``Septic shock is one of the rare and severe complications of group A streptococcus infection.''

None of the nine people who had close contact with Wong on the aircraft has shown symptoms of the infection.

A Cathay Pacific spokesman confirmed that all nine were family members who had traveled with Wong.

The center sent officials to Wong's school in Sha Tin yesterday to give health advice to management staff.

``No unusual sickness was found at the school,'' the spokeswoman said.

Principal Kan Pui-fan of Sha Tin Methodist Primary School expressed deep sadness at the loss and said Wong always went to class and had been a healthy boy.

The school has notified students of the death and is offering counseling services. Six Primary Three to Primary Four students have accepted the offer.

Wong and another student in their class of 25 fell sick during the holidays.

The other student has recovered and is back in class.

Meanwhile, Cathay Pacific said it will not notify passengers who had been on the same flight as Wong because it has not received instructions from the center.

Directors of Health Promotion and Education, a health organization in the United States, said on its website that the risk of spreading streptococcus A was ``highest when an infected person is ill or has an infected wound.''

Wong developed a fever and an upper respiratory tract infection on January 21 when he was still in Hong Kong.

He and his family flew to Malaysia four days later. On January 28, Wong's knees became swollen and he was checked by a doctor in Penang.

He complained of feeling sick on Cathay Pacific flight CX720 from Penang on Saturday, and was sent to a medical clinic while in transit in Kuala Lumpur where he died just a few hours later.
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Old February 21st, 2009, 06:20 PM   #1310
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By kachira from HKADB :

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Old February 24th, 2009, 05:35 AM   #1311
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Cathay Pacific offers passengers brand new travel kits with exclusively designed amenity bags
23 February 2009
Press Release

Cathay Pacific Airways today unveiled its new range of travel kits for passengers with a new exclusive design from top fashion house Bally and luxury skincare products from Australian brand Aesop.

The First Class travel kit for females once again features elegant designs by Ipa-Nima, a Vietnam-based brand known for its use of vibrant colours and unique embroidery. Inspired by the forest, the “Glamazon” pouch features hand-sewn beading, sequins and appliques. The second pouch design, “Bubbles”, is the designer’s interpretation of Champagne – the drink of choice for Cathay Pacific’s First Class passengers. The two styles of amenity bag will be introduced in two phases.

The elegant Ipa-Nima pouch is filled with a collection of skincare products from Aesop. Launched in 1987, the Australian wellness brand offers botanically based skin, hair and body products for men and women. The Aesop products featured in the kits are selected to help the skin cope with different environmental conditions and stimulants, including humidity. The products can enhance passengers’ comfort and help them feel relaxed and revitalised during and after their flights.

From April onwards, the airline’s male passengers travelling in First Class will receive a new specially designed black double-zip pouch from Bally, a renowned international fashion house with almost 160 years of history. The kits are packed with skincare products from Italian luxury brand Acca Kappa’s White Moss product line. White Moss was created as a unisex product with a crisp, fresh fragrance using the essential oils of lavender and juniper.

The Business Class female and male travel kits feature bags exclusively designed by renowned French fashion brand agnès b. The star-print bag for women is one of agnès b’s signature patterns and comes in cheerful pink and sweet baby blue. The male double-zip pouch comes in dark green or black and features the brand’s stylish lizard logo.

The Business Class travel kit for flights departing Hong Kong contains skincare products from Murad, a leading doctor-developed skincare range from the United States that is found in nearly 3,000 of the USA’s best spas and is available worldwide in 36 countries. Kits on flights to Hong Kong will continue to carry skincare products from Dermalogica, a US brand founded on the belief that good skincare is not about pampering or luxury.

First Class Female Travel Kit
• Bag: Ipa-Nima Burgundy Beaded Pouch and Ipa-Nima Beige Beaded Pouch
• Aesop Camellia Nut Facial Hydrating Cream
• Aesop Oil Free Facial Hydrating Serum
• Aesop New Rosehip Lip Moisturiser (alternate to Oil Free Facial Hydrating Serum)
• Aesop Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Facial Toner
• Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm
• Dental set, mouthwash, earplugs, cotton pads and hairbrush

First Class Male Travel Kit
• Bag: Bally Black Double Zip Pouch
• Acca Kappa White Moss Face Moisturiser
• Acca Kappa White Moss Facial Mist
• Acca Kappa Lip Balm
• Dental set, mouthwash, earplugs, shoe horn and comb

Business Class Female Travel Kit for flights from Hong Kong
• Bag: agnès b. pink double zip pouch
• Murad Intensive Wrinkle Reduer
• Murad Intensive Wrinkle Reduer - Eyes
• Murad Pomegranate Lip Protector SPF 15
• agnès b. toothbrush, eyeshade and hairbrush
• Toothpaste, mouthwash, earplugs, cotton pads and socks

Business Class Male Travel Kit for flights from Hong Kong
• Bag: agnès b. Dark Green Double Zip Pouch
• Murad Man Face Defense
• Murad Hydro-dynamic Skin Tonic
• Murad Green Tea Lip Balm SPF 15
• agnès b. toothbrush, eyeshade, haircomb and shoehorn
• Toothpaste, mouthwash, earplugs and socks

Business Class Female Travel Kit for flights to Hong Kong
• Bag: agnès b. Pastel Blue Double Zip Pouch
• Dermalogica Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF30
• Dermalogica Anti Oxidant Hydramist
• Dermalogica Renewal Lip Complex
• agnès b. toothbrush, hairbrush and eyeshade
• Toothpaste, mouthwash, earplugs, cotton pads and socks

Business Class Male Travel Kit for flights to Hong Kong
• Bag: agnès b. Black Double Zip Pouch
• Dermalogica Daily Defense Block SPF15
• Dermalogica Post Shave Balm
• Dermalogica Renewal Lip Complex
• agnès b toothbrush, haircomb, eyeshade and shoehorn
• Toothpaste, mouthwash, earplugs and socks
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Old February 26th, 2009, 05:16 AM   #1312
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British actor swore at airline staff, court told
26 February 2009
South China Morning Post

A Briton who played bit roles in films starring Jackie Chan and Shu Qi was charged with using abusive language at a Cathay Pacific airport counter in December.

Leon Head, 59, was said to have argued for unknown reasons with a member of staff, identified only as Ms Cheung, as he was checking in at Chek Lap Kok airport.

During the row, he said "f***" several times, and Ms Cheung called police. He was charged with one count of using abusive language.

Court documents did not indicate Head's nationality, but a member of staff at casting and modelling agency Crews Model, whose website lists Head's profile, said he was British. He added that Head had left Hong Kong.

Head was scheduled to enter his plea at Tsuen Wan Court yesterday afternoon before special magistrate Chu Chung-keung but did not show up because he could not be reached to be served with a summons. His case has been adjourned to April 8 for mention at the same court.

Under the Airport Authority Bylaw, no one may use threatening, abusive, obscene or offensive language, or behave in a riotous, disorderly, indecent or offensive manner. The fine for such offences is HK$2,000. The law covers the airport area and all designated roads within it.

Swearing is also prohibited on the MTR, which is governed by two sets of Mass Transit Railway bylaws.

Police said they did not have figures on the number of people who were charged for using abusive language at the airport last year. The Airport Authority directed inquiries to the police.

The Hong Kong Film Archive lists Head as an actor who played the role of Dr Smith in the 2005 film The Myth starring Jackie Chan, and as casting director in the 1994 film Unclassified File.

The Hong Kong Movie Database also lists Head in three other movies, all starring Shu Qi: 2002's Skyline Cruisers, which also featured Leon Lai; 2000's For Bad Boys Only with Ekin Cheng Yee-kin and Louis Koo Tin-lok; and 2002's So Close with Vicki Zhao Wei.
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Old February 26th, 2009, 09:03 AM   #1313
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Cathay Pacific welcomes budget initiatives on infrastructure and tourism
25 February 2009
Press Release

Cathay Pacific today welcomed the acknowledgement by the HKSAR Financial Secretary, Mr John Tsang, in his second Budget Speech of the need to cooperate further with our neighbouring cities in the Pearl River Delta (“PRD”) region and the urgency to study and implement various major cross-boundary infrastructure projects, including the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, and the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Airport Rail Link.

Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Tony Tyler said: “As the economies of Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta become increasingly interdependent, we welcome cross-boundary infrastructure that will reinforce and promote their mutual growth.

“In the case of the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Airport Rail Link, I am sure the Financial Secretary is very conscious of its economic and financial viability as well as its practical benefits. While we see that the link would be beneficial for Hong Kong and Shenzhen, it would not remove the urgent need for a third runway at the Hong Kong International Airport. The Hong Kong hub is central to so much of our economy that we need to maintain the momentum in its capacity growth if we are to keep our competitive advantage against other hubs in the region.”

Cathay Pacific also supports the government’s efforts to promote medium and long-term development, strengthen our economic foundations and tap new opportunities during this difficult time through the 10 key infrastructure projects which are already under way. We agree that accelerating these projects where possible will be beneficial.

As Hong Kong’s home carrier and one of its largest employers, Cathay Pacific supports the Government’s initiatives to preserve jobs and promote training opportunities.

The airline will continue work with industry partners and mobilize our global network to complement the Government’s efforts to promote the development of the tourism, convention and exhibition industries in Hong Kong.
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 01:18 PM   #1314
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Dragonair pay policies 'unfair to local pilots'
22 February 2009
South China Morning Post

Dragonair is discriminating against locally hired pilots through policies that result in expatriate fliers receiving up to twice as much in their pay packets, its pilots' union claims.

The pay arrangements for local versus expatriate pilots are so different that it violates the company's own anti-discrimination guidelines, the Dragonair Pilot's Association claims in a letter sent to the airline's management and obtained by the Sunday Morning Post.

The letter was sent at the request of the airline, which has been locked in a long-running dispute with the union over the issue of local pilot remuneration.

While both local and expat pilots receive the same base salary, the union is unhappy that allowances paid to expatriates mean their packages end up dwarfing those of local colleagues.

"Despite being similarly qualified and experienced, direct entry first officers employed on local terms will receive less than half the overall remuneration of their peers on expatriate terms," the letter claims.

"Even as captains [local hires] can still receive less than expatriate first officers."

Both the airline and its parent, Cathay Pacific, have denied the practice is discriminatory.

A spokesman for Dragonair said the company was committed to treating all staff fairly.

"Hong Kong has a very limited supply of qualified pilots and thus must look overseas to recruit as well," he said. "Certain benefits are provided to attract talent from overseas. This kind of practice is not uncommon in Hong Kong."

Cathay said it was an equal opportunity employer.

"For a large international carrier such as Cathay Pacific, overseas recruitment of experienced pilots is essential because the supply of pilots is very limited in Hong Kong," a spokeswoman said.

"Because we have to recruit experienced pilots to take up residence in Hong Kong for the long term, like all multinational corporations in Hong Kong, we need to offer relocation benefits to attract the overseas recruits."

One Dragonair pilot said: "Experienced local pilots earn exactly the same amount for the company. They have to have exactly the same skills and experience and they do exactly the same work.

"The package the expats are on is the going rate for pilots in Hong Kong and it is only fair that local pilots are paid the same amount."

He estimated that about 10 per cent of Dragonair's pilots were on local terms.

The association's letter notes that the city's civil service abolished local versus non-local pay arrangements back in the 1970s.

"The issue of local pay, which has evolved out of the old race-based criteria of the colonial era, is clearly a potential source of resentment and unwelcome publicity," the letter says.

"It must surely be in the company's interest to resolve this historic anomaly as soon as possible."

Cathay said it was trying to address the shortage of local pilots by continuing to run its cadet pilot programme. "To date, more than 270 locally trained cadets have graduated to become pilots with the airline," the spokeswoman said.
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 04:20 AM   #1315
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Cathay Pacific launches special "Buy 2 Get 1 Free" package to HK

HONG KONG, March 2 (Xinhua) -- Cathay Pacific and Dragonair announced here Monday that they will offer "Buy 2 Get 1 Free" travel package to overseas visitors who stay and play at Hong Kong Disneyland.

The package is available to travelers in a number of destinations served by the two Hong Kong airlines from Monday through June 30, says a statement issued by the two airlines.

The special promotion invites visitors from selected Chinese mainland and Asian destinations to travel in groups of three, with the third person enjoying the package for free.

Visitors will fly with Cathay Pacific or Dragonair and stay at one of the two Hong Kong Disneyland hotels or selected hotels in the city.
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Old March 4th, 2009, 07:23 AM   #1316
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Sleep on Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong Then Sleep on Us While There
Offer includes lower fares and two free nights at luxury hotel in Hong Kong

2 March 2009

SAN FRANCISCO - (BUSINESS WIRE) - Luxury airline Cathay Pacific announces a special offer that gives travelers even more reasons to visit Hong Kong. From now until April 30, enjoy 15 percent off select Business Class or 5 percent off select First Class published roundtrip fares from the U.S. to Hong Kong AND receive a 2-night complimentary stay at either the Four Seasons or Intercontinental Hotel in Hong Kong.

"As Hong Kong’s home carrier, we want travelers to experience the best of what the city has to offer, whether for business or leisure", said Dennis Owen, Cathay Pacific’s vice president, Marketing, Americas. "Our new cabins and attentive service coupled with exceptional accommodation at these premier hotels will give travelers an extra incentive to visit the city that is known for its eclectic cuisine, spectacular skyline and exciting attractions."

Passengers will be pampered in Cathay Pacific's new First and Business Class, which is being progressively introduced on the carrier's long-haul aircraft, offering just the right amount of personal attention, interaction and privacy. More information and a virtual tour of Cathay Pacific’s new cabins are available by visiting www.cathaypacific.com/experience.

These lower fares are only available for outbound travel from March 1 - April 30, 2009 on Cathay Pacific’s Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York JFK flights. Tickets can be purchased by calling Cathay Pacific’s Reservations at 1-877-707-2742 and requesting the “Hotel Offer.”

Applicable fare classes are F, A, J, C and D. No refunds for trips onboard aircraft featuring classic seating. Hotel stays must occur between March 1 and April 30, 2009. Additional rules and restrictions apply. Please visit www.cathaypacific.com/us for complete terms and conditions.
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Old March 6th, 2009, 07:04 AM   #1317
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By B-18309 from HKADB :



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Old March 7th, 2009, 06:10 PM   #1318
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Promoter adds hip hop mix to footage of wailing YouTube woman
7 March 2009
South China Morning Post

Hong Kong has finally made it big on YouTube. By now, you are probably one of more than 5 million viewers who have watched an astonishing temper tantrum thrown by a woman at the airport after she missed a flight from Hong Kong to San Francisco.

Music promoter extraordinaire Hans Ebert has now set the infamous video to a hip hop mix, punctuated by the famous lines from the Eagles' Hotel California: "You can check out any time but you can never leave." Ebert said: "We call it the Chek Lap Kok-ed Up Terminal Wei Ling Mix and are very hopeful that the Hong Kong Tourist Association will use this to greet all our visitors and every banker on the run."

Colleague Ian Parkinson, who did the mix, added: "It's a voice full of anguish, turmoil, soul and an almost childlike quality. This is a voice that has suddenly come to represent Hong Kong.

"Who says Hong Kong has no singing talent? Who says Hong Kong has no soul, no feeling and no empathy towards one's fellow man? In one fell swoop, here is a lady - our very own No1 Sister Soul - who has single-handedly managed to enhance the sound of Hong Kong with an unforgettably moving performance that can only be described as Terminal Wailing. Forget manufactured Canto-pop. This is Canto-wailing at its most pitiful best."

Since the woman has been made a YouTube star for the three-minute screaming fit, Cathay Pacific has apologised to her and offered an upgrade to business class on her next flight and extra air miles.

But what was there to apologise for? The woman should be grateful. If she had done it in a US airport, she would have been chained up or shot on the spot.
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Old March 9th, 2009, 08:24 AM   #1319
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Cathay flight to Colombo aborted by Tigers attack
8 March 2009
South China Morning Post

A Cathay Pacific aircraft with 179 passengers on board was forced to abandon its descent to land in Sri Lanka when two light planes operated by the Tamil Tiger rebels launched an air raid on the capital.

The Cathay flight was about to begin its descent when air traffic controllers in Colombo told the pilots it had closed the capital's airport and activated its air defence system after coming under attack from the planes.

Electricity was cut across the capital on February 20 as bombs fell and anti-aircraft fire raked the sky, before the propeller-driven Tiger planes were shot down. One crashed into tax department offices, killing two people and injuring another 45.

A Cathay Pacific spokeswoman said the message that the airport had been shut down came at about 9.30pm as flight CX711 was cruising about 320km from the Sri Lankan capital.

"We made the decision to turn the flight back to Singapore as there was no official estimate of the duration of the closure and there was sufficient fuel for the return flight," she said. "The alert was lifted after more than an hour and Colombo airport resumed operations.

"At no point were the passengers, the crew or the aircraft in any danger.

"At that time, the flight was still at cruising altitude and was almost an hour before the scheduled arrival time."

A review of the security situation in Colombo was held with Cathay Pacific's country manager in Sri Lanka, who discussed the situation with government agencies, the spokeswoman said.

"The situation was assessed as suitable for the resumption of normal flight operations to Colombo the next day. We continue to closely monitor the security situation at all destinations."

The incident triggered a debate on a pilots' gossip forum over whether Sri Lanka is a safe destination for Cathay Pacific, although most argued that the incident was no reason for flights to be halted.

One pilot wrote: "How many diversions have we had from CMB [Colombo] in the last year? A lot {hellip} bombs dropping on the airport, planes being shot down, continued fighting of the Tamil Tigers {hellip} it is a bit of a security issue if you ask me."

Regular Hong Kong visitors to Sri Lanka appeared less concerned.

Father-of-two Andrew Rutherford, a partner at design agency Yang Rutherford, said: "We've been going to Sri Lanka for 15 years, mostly during the civil war.

"This won't affect my family's travel plans at all.

"Sri Lanka is often perceived as a war zone, but in fact the vast majority of the country is quiet and peaceful and very safe for tourists. The London, Madrid, Mumbai, Cairo and Bali bombings, and the recent shootings in Pakistan, show that wherever you are in the world there is a remote chance of being caught up in violence.

"It's no different in Sri Lanka. The risk is negligible. It shouldn't put anyone off visiting this beautiful country."
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Old March 9th, 2009, 09:42 AM   #1320
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Promoter adds hip hop mix to footage of wailing YouTube woman

Since the woman has been made a YouTube star for the three-minute screaming fit, Cathay Pacific has apologised to her and offered an upgrade to business class on her next flight and extra air miles.

But what was there to apologise for? The woman should be grateful. If she had done it in a US airport, she would have been chained up or shot on the spot.
cathay should not have to appologize for anything.

let me get this straight, if i miss my flight, throw an insane tantrum and it gets put on youtube, i get upgraded to business????!!!
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