Cathay Pacific continued its longstanding commitment to supporting youth development in Hong Kong with the successful return of its Cathay Community Flight. The flight – the eighth to be operated by the airline since 2007 – saw about 170 students and mentors enjoy a 90-minute flight in the skies above Hong Kong onboard an Airbus A350-1000 aircraft.
The Cathay Community Flight 2023 marked the culmination of a series of initiatives organised by the airline in support of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government’s “Strive and Rise Programme”, which pairs students with volunteer mentors to help them build up their self-confidence and guide them to develop their personal goals.
Cathay’s contribution to Strive and Rise aligns with its deep commitment to youth development which includes various programmes aimed at providing opportunities for young Hong Kong people to explore a career in aviation. These include I Can Fly, the Cadet Pilot Training Programme, the Cathay Hackathon, collaboration with the Vocational Training Council and various summer internship and graduate trainee programmes.
Over the years, the airline has also organised a broad range of community initiatives to support local groups with special needs, including volunteer services to provide homework support and mentorship for children from underprivileged and ethnic minority backgrounds.
The Cathay Community Flight 2023 was hosted by Cathay Chief Executive Officer Ronald Lam, while the guest of honour was Chief Secretary for Administration of the HKSAR Government Chan Kwok-ki.
Chan said: "Over the past few months, Cathay has invited about 1,600 students and mentors from the programme to participate in a series of meticulously planned Aviation Exploration Days. Through a variety of experiential activities including today's Cathay Community Flight, students are able to broaden their horizons and gain a better understanding of the opportunities to develop in the aviation industry, so that they could better plan their academic paths.
"I firmly believe that, with the joint efforts of the Government, the business sector and the community, we can create a brighter future together for our next generation to strive and rise."
The latest Community Flight was supported by Cathay volunteers, from cockpit and cabin crew to ground staff from various departments, who helped to make it a special day for all concerned. Some of the cockpit crew who volunteered were themselves graduates of youth aviation education programmes such as I Can Fly that have been organised by Cathay previously.