BLUE- SKY THINKING藍天思維
Clear skies and sunny days brought Adelaide into the network. By PHIL HEARD阿德萊德的蔚藍天空與長日照吸引國泰航空飛往當地。撰文： Phil Heard
NINETEEN-NINETY-TWO was a difficult year for Cathay Pacific. The airline industry was still mired in the downturn precipitated by the collapse of the Japanese economy. There was excess capacity: a lot of airlines and aircraft were competing for a diminishing number of passengers. This led to what then-Cathay Pacific chairman Peter Sutch described as ‘fare wars’. While this was good for those who could afford to fly, it wasn’t great for the bottom line.
To help, Cathay Pacific deferred some new aircraft in the hope that when they joined the fleet the global economy would be in better shape. Route launches were in short supply, but one that did happen that year was Adelaide. It was to prove that relationships forged in adversity are often the strongest.
On 3 October, the South Australian city became Cathay Pacific’s 40th destination. The service was operated initially by a Boeing 747, a big plane for a new route, but then this was a weekly service at first. The aircraft touched down on a day marked by – count them – 18 hours of sunshine.
Adelaide’s predominantly clear blue skies are ideal for novice flyers, something that Flight Training Adelaide has been trading on since 1982 – but it was not until 1994 that Cathay Pacific sent its first group of would-be pilots there to learn the theory and practicalities of flying. To date, around 1,800 Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon pilots have spent time in Adelaide learning their craft – more than half of the airlines’ flight crew.
Adelaide flight frequencies have increased, too. In July, Cathay Pacific started a fifth weekly service, operated by an Airbus A330. Its commitment to the city also extends to being a sporting and cultural ambassador: the airline is a partner of Port Adelaide, one of the city’s two Aussie Rules Football teams.
Port Adelaide have been keen to strengthen ties between Australia and China, and Cathay Pacific flew the team to a historic game in Shanghai against the Gold Coast Suns in Shanghai in May.
Efforts to broaden the game’s appeal in the Asian market and to develop Australia’s inbound tourism also saw Cathay Pacific executives joining Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to watch The Power’s – Port Adelaide’s nickname – win over the Swans in Sydney in March this year.
阿德萊德常見的晴朗藍天最適合新手機師，也是當地成立於1982年的Flight Training Adelaide飛行訓練學校倚仗的地利優勢。不過直至1994年，國泰航空才送首批見習機師到該校學習飛行原理及實習駕駛。直至目前為止，約有1,800名國泰及國泰港龍的機師到過阿德萊德學習飛行技術，佔公司全體機師逾半。
Port Adelaide足球隊積極加強澳洲及中國兩國關係，今年5月，國泰航空便載著球隊飛到上海，跟來自黃金海岸的Gold Coast Suns球隊展開歷史性一戰。
3月，中國總理李克強便與國泰航空的管理層在悉尼見證The Power’s（Port Adelaide的暱稱）在球場上擊敗Swans球隊。
This is 40 Adelaide (left) became the 40th Cathay Pacific destination in 1992; the airline flew the Port Adelaide AFL squad to Shanghai (below) for a match in May 開拓新航站 阿德萊德（左圖）於1992年成為國泰航空第40個航站；國泰航空於今年5月將Port Adelaide澳式足球隊飛往上海（下圖）進行比賽