Swire Group, whose activities span property, aviation, beverages, marine services, and trading and industrial, is a Hong Kong listed conglomerate. It is the parent of Hong Kong carrier, Cathay Pacific Airways, and Dragonair, and Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Co (Haeco) is a subsidiary. Swire Pacific and Swire Properties are the main listed arms of the group, which also owns Swire Hotels.
Cathay pathetic hotline
Cathay pilots appear to be sticking to their guns on the refusing-to-sell their leave front.
This we noticed when dropping in on their cyber message board, where a rebel leader urged fellow pilots to fight the system by hanging on to their holiday time.
This attracted 50 responses of 'count me in'.
But higher ups at the cash-raking, salary-slashing airline deny that this has created a pilot shortage.
We suspect that's because management has found a solution to the problem.
Reduce the number of passengers.
This reduces the number of planes, thereby reducing the number of pilots needed. Ingenious.
True, it's just a theory. But it would explain a mysterious development on the Cathay Pacific Holidays 'Hotline'. This has turned distinctly cold of late.
A reader told us about it after a dozen unsuccessful attempts to get through finally drove him to book elsewhere.
So Lai See dialed up. We were greeted by a recorded voice informing us that all lines were busy. This followed by the grating jangle of hold music. When the canned voice returned, its message had changed.
'Our lines are still busy,' it said. 'Please fax us your request.' That's the only option offered, so anyone without a fax machine is out of luck and out of Cathay. Sounds like the Heart of Asia wants us to stay where the heart is - at home.
Either that or all their telephone operators have been put on cockpit duty.
Screen slaver: Are you terminally lazy? Is your job a pesky interruption of your morning and afternoon naps? Then Don's Boss Page is for you. We read about it in 'CFO Asia'.
Designed for web-surfing malingerers, it provides fake spread sheets. These can be programmed to appear at the touch of a 'boss button' when a higher up passes by. Once the boss has moved safely out of range, the Calvin and Hobbes Web page flicks back on to your screen.
But that's only for those dedicated enough to remain conscious.
If you find surfing far too strenuous, the site offers pre-recorded typing sound effects. Simply download it, and catch up on some sleep while the sounds of industry emanate from your cubicle.
Armless fun: Guns don't kill people. People kill people.
Of course, it's a lot trickier for people to kill those other people without a gun. But so what? People are merely defending themselves from all the other people who are merely defending themselves, which means that no-one's on the offence, so carrying a gun shouldn't be one.
So sayeth the intellectuals of America's National Rifle Association.
The merry band of has-been actors and Texan trailer park dwellers recently announced plans to create a theme store/restaurant in New York's Times Square.
This little Paradise promises to provide 'a new, exciting, total shooting experience'. Naturally our friends at the Top Five site couldn't let this opportunity pass. They immediately cobbled together a list of 'Top Things Overheard at the NRA's New Theme Store/Restaurant'.
Here are our favourites: 'EVERYONE HIT THE DECK!!! Oops . . . it's just our new popcorn machine.' 'Ever notice that the Target shop across the street is always empty?' 'Yikes. Those sawed-off shotgun drinking fountains take some getting used to.' 'C'mon kids! Step right up and play 'Pop a Cap in the Donkey!' ' 'A Pokemon model .357 magnum? You don't even play with the Scooby-Doo .45 you have now!' 'OK, this is a stick-up! Don't anybody move . . . uh oh.' Graphic: whee07gbz