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

Discovery - - POINTS IN TIME - DISCOVER MORE Find out more about the airline’s history at cathaypacific.com/discovery發現更多想更詳盡了解國泰航空的歷史,請瀏覽cathaypacific.com/discovery

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.

對國泰航空來說,1992年是艱難的一年。當時航空業仍處於日本經濟泡沫爆破帶來的不景氣,眾多航空公司及飛機拼命爭取日漸縮減的客源,造成運載力過盛,結果導至時任國泰航空主席薩秉達形容的「減價戰」出現。雖然對乘客來說這是好消息,但對航空業來說這並非美事。

國泰航空的其中一項對策,就是延遲新飛機的交付日期,期望待全球經濟轉好再讓新飛機加入機隊。另外就是減少推出新航線,不過,那年國泰航空卻推出阿德萊德的新航線,結果證明在逆境中建立的關係往往都是最堅韌的。

10月3日,南澳城市阿德萊德正式成為國泰航空第40個航站。最初是每周一班,並由波音747客機營運,對一條新航線來說,那可是大型的機種。首航飛機降落的那天,該市錄得18個日照時數。

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。

至於飛往阿德萊德的航班亦有所增長,今年7月,國泰航空把航班增至每周五班,新增航班由空中巴士A330營運。同時,國泰航空成為當地兩支澳式足球隊之一的

Port Adelaide的國際航空夥伴,擔起體育及文化大使的責任,為阿德萊德作出貢獻。

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。

澳洲足球界努力拓展亞洲市場,致力發展區內的入境旅遊業,並樂見成效。今年

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

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