Cathay Pacific puts passenger needs first and welcomes competition

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 30 March, 2017, 5:06pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 March, 2017, 9:22pm

I refer to Peter Guy’s article (“Cathay Pacific still caught in a time warp”, March 27), in which he expressed his views concerning the Cathay Pacific Group.

Mr Guy is rightly entitled to his opinion, and we always value constructive feedback, but we categorically reject some of his allegations.

The claim that Cathay Pacific has a role in making taxpayers finance the third runway at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) is absurd. Rather, it is airport users, which includes airlines such as ourselves, who pay charges to help fund this project. As the home airlines, we support the development of the third runway in order to strengthen Hong Kong’s position as one of the world’s leading aviation hubs and for the economic benefits it will bring to our city.

Regarding the assertion that Cathay Pacific denies market access to new competitors, I want to clarify that we welcome competition as long as it complies with local regulations and the Basic Law. This is supported by the fact that Hong Kong has become one of the most competitive markets in Asia, with over 100 airlines (including some 20 low-cost carriers) operating to and from HKIA.

Mr Guy is also wrong to suggest that Cathay Pacific does not have a plan in place to return to profitability. I would like to reassure customers that our recently announced three-year transformation programme will allow us to enrich our customer offering while at the same time drive efficiency and productivity.

The goal is for us to become more agile and competitive in order to take advantage of changing market trends and customer preferences. Doing so will enable us to grow, improve our performance and strengthen our financial returns.

By putting the needs of our customers at the heart of every decision we make, we will invest where it really counts – on the passenger experience. We already have one of the youngest long-haul fleets in the sky – and with the arrival of 56 new aircraft by 2024, our fleet is only going to get younger. Our reputation for product and service excellence will not diminish; rather, it will be enhanced as we continue to invest in improvements.

We are determined to succeed with our transformation and have the full support of our major shareholders, who are equally confident of our long-term development and prosperity.

Arnold Cheng, director of corporate affairs, Cathay Pacific