Letters to the Editor, April 4, 2017

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 April, 2017, 4:29pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 April, 2017, 4:29pm

No ‘time warp’ as Cathay soars in excellence

Peter Guy’s assault on Cathay Pacific (“A flawed business model in a changing world”, March 26) ­reflects more his ­outdated views of the airline ­industry than ­Cathay being “in a time warp”.

Cathay continues to deliver the newest aircraft with the latest technology to benefit both passengers and the environment; it strives to deliver state-of-the-art products that benefit passengers, by allowing them to remain connected throughout a flight on the new A350 aircraft; it envelops passengers in the ­Cathay product from check-in to arrival, with a lounge system that is unsurpassed in terms of amenities and convenience.

Peter Guy glosses over the fact that Cathay is one of the world’s safest airlines and, for this, many passengers accept a premium on fares that are ­already competitively priced.

His rant about passengers paying for the third runway is factually inaccurate, as are his uninformed views on Cathay’s profitability. As part of the Swire family, the Cathay Pacific ­product ­remains an integral component of a company that remains ­committed to the excellence of service it has prided itself on for generations. There is no time warp at ­Cathay, unless one sees in this benchmark ­airline the ­future of flying.

Mark Peaker, The Peak

Airline seems old-fashioned on ticketing

With reference to your recent editorial on Cathay Pacific (“A healthy Cathay is vital for our city”, March 25), it is indeed an airline that is intertwined with Hong Kong ‘s destiny and it does need to revamp its strategy and mode of operation.

For starters, they need to ­revamp their online strategy. Their best fares are typically not online but with travel agents – how old-fashioned is that?

Someone using a web portal like Zuji or Expedia will see ­Cathay’s inflated online prices and hence book on rival airlines. As a test, you could check out Hong Kong-Mumbai return flights on online portals, and also call a travel agent. The agent will have a much lower fare on CX than the ticketing websites.

Someone booking online may not be aware of this. ­Cathay is ­indeed living in the past.

Rahil Ahuja, Repulse Bay

Climate change effects behind warmer city

I refer to your article on Hong Kong’s unusually balmy winter (“City basks in record warm ­winter”, March 24).

It is painfully obvious that Hong Kong is feeling the effects of global warming. Vehicular emissions are a major source of pollution. There were 525,193 licensed private cars in Hong Kong by March last year, according to Transport Department data. If these numbers keep growing, we risk serious damage to public health, and may see more people develop diseases like asthma and lung cancer.

The number of private cars must therefore be restricted. The ­government could establish a policy of “one family, one car”.

Also, a lack of environmental sensitiveness is worsening the situation, with even our limited green belts facing the threat of redevelopment.

Kelly Lee, Sha Tin

Plastic surgery can lead to a life of regrets

I refer to the report on the ­surgically beautified all-girl ­Korean band (“Cutting edge: K-pop girl band releases ode to plastic surgery”, March 17).

The four-member band, SixBomb, are a product of South Korea’s ultracompetitive, looks-obsessed society, where looks enhance social standing and even help secure jobs.

Korean culture is very attractive to many Hongkongers, who could be inspired to also go under the knife to become more beautiful. But we must be aware of the risks of such surgery.

Plastic surgery is not fail-proof. Most of us just see the ­successes and forget about the risk of failure; we may end up ­regretting our decision forever.

Also, our appearance is unique to us. It is a gift from our parents and an expression of our special genetic mix.

It is meaningless to change this. Moreover, no one can really fight time, and we will all grow old one day. Even plastic surgery cannot keep the wrinkles at bay eventually. So, such surgery is really just a waste of money.

Winnie Lam, Tseung Kwan O

Antidepressant drugs can do a lot of harm

Hong Kong is notorious for its long working hours and high-pressure environment. So, it is not uncommon to see people prescribed with psychotropic drugs as an antidepressant, mood stabiliser or anti-anxiety agent, to help them cope better.

However, these drugs are double-edged swords. In fact, some researchers claim that psychotropic drugs can have harmful side effects, both physical and psychological, like causing a rise in blood pressure or even suicidal behaviour.

The short-term benefits of psychotropic drugs may make us neglect the potential dangers involved. I urge the public to be aware that these drugs can have unknown side effects and use them sparingly, as it is a serious issue. And those suffering from emotional problems are ­encouraged to consult social workers instead of taking pills.

Fung Kam Chi, Hung Hom

Life lesson on the links for an elderly golfer

Your correspondent, Ng Tsz-wing, (“Catch them young for a fit future society”, March 23) ­reminded me that sport not only strengthens our muscles, but helps us get a more flexible body and makes life easier as we age.

I am entering the elderly ­cohort, and my stiff joints make it difficult to turn around quickly or bend to pick up a pencil, say.

I played a round of golf six months ago, after a two-year break from any sport. After the game, my hand and fingers ached badly, because my bones were brittle from lack of use.

I had to take a long course of physiotherapy and have been on pain killers since. That is the cost of failing to exercise.

Edmond Pang, Fanling