Neri: Airline Updates-A A +A
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
IN A SPAN of twenty years Cathay Pacific-Cebu has come a long, long way. From a modest presence in southern Philippines with just two flights a week to Hong Kong, it has become a favorite carrier of travelers from the Visayas and Mindanao, and now boasts of daily flights plus extra flights during peak periods.
CX AWARDEES. Long service awardees Lulu Son Henry Francisco and Janice Nabua flanked by CX GM Southeast Asia Wilson Yam (left) and CX country manager-Phil. Martin Xu.
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The 20th anniversary celebration of Cathay’s Cebu service was a cocktail affair at SM Northwing with the airline’s frequent flyers, partners and friends from the industry in attendance. The festivities began with a video highlighting the carrier’s milestones over the last 20 years. Lady of the hour was Grace Ho, Cathay Pacific’s manager-Cebu who told the guests about the recognitions that the airline has received, the chartered flights between Cebu and Hong Kong, and the various outreach projects being undertaken including the latest one—the building of a library at Po-o Elementary School in Olango Island.
It was also an evening which gave recognition to three of the CX staff who have been there since the very beginning—Cebu airport services manager Janice Nabua, direct sales supervisor Lulu Son and cargo services supervisor Henry Francisco. They accepted their gold tokens from CX general manager for Southeast Asia Wilson Yam and country manager-Philippines Martin Xu. Guest of honor was Mayor Mike Rama while a very special guest was Anna Thompson, the very first manager of CX-Cebu, who came all the way from Hong Kong.
Background music at the party was a collection of Chinese and Cebuano favorites performed by the Cebu Philharmonic Orchestra—a very fitting selection in keeping with the celebration’s theme of “Bringing Cebu and Hong Kong closer together.”
Meanwhile over in Hong Kong, Dragonair, the sister airline of Cathay Pacific, unveiled its new Business Class (extensive recline and extended leg rest) and new Economy class (a cradle mechanism for more comfort in the recline position and more personal storage space) during a media event hosted by Dragonair chief executive officer (CEO) Patrick Yeung. These new products adopt the same designs used by Cathay Pacific for its new regional business class and new long-haul economy class, thus ensuring a more consistent and harmonious inflight experience for passengers connection between the two airlines through the Hong Kong hub.
And speaking of the Hong Kong hub, it is where the first class and business class passengers of Cathay Pacific and Dragonair get to experience the amenities of the well-equipped lounges. The premium lounge is called The Pier where, aside from the usual comfy sitting areas, the work stations with IT facilities, shower suites, and the cafe (The Haven), there are six Daybreak Rooms which offer utmost privacy: your own cozy private room with a TV fronting the legendary Balzac armchair where you can doze off snugly. I got to try this room on my way to Rome last October when we had an eight-hour layover at the Hong Kong International Airport.
The business class lounge is known as The Wing and it extends all the way to the first class lounge. Just like The Pier, it offers unparalleled levels of comfort and convenience (wide range of seating, work and food stations. shower suites, etc.) It is most famous for its legendary The Noodle Bar (freshly made noodles with a selection of Chinese style Bao) and The Long Bar (drinks galore). A recent addition is the Coffee Loft where passengers can enjoy a cup of freshly brewed coffee and pastries baked on the premises.
Indeed the CX lounges have set a new standard in airline ground service.
St. Theresa's Alumnae Association (Staa) is organizing a lenten recollection on March 2, from 1:30-5:30 pm with Fr. Ernesto Javier as recollection master. Venue is the STC audio-visual room. Fee is P200. Call STAA office for details at 253-4928.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 27, 2013.