THERE is much anticipation with Cathay Dragon’s Davao-Hong Kong direct flight, and this hassle-free traveling for the Dabawenyos will kick-off on October 28, 2018. Everyone’s favorite food and shopping destination is one plane ride away. Easy breezy.

“We have been looking at this flight for quite some time now. We’re constantly looking for new destinations, places where we have a customer base that is looking to connect directly into Hong Kong. We definitely feel that this is the case with Davao and Mindanao. Why now? I think that there is an excitement about Davao. The build, build, build projects are kicking off and we’ve seen a significant growth in volume, a significant growth in interest, a buzz about the place,” said Robin Bradshaw, country manager.

From the very first Cathay Pacific operations in 1946, the airline has been looking to grow its presence here. It has regular flights from Manila, Cebu and Clark. With the growing volume, it needed to look into other places to grow the market. There is a customer demand in Davao and the timing is right.

Here is Cathay Dragon’s promise for the Dabawenyos: a life well-traveled.

No more transit into Manila or Cebu to Hong Kong and to the rest of the world. Hong Kong is a favorite destination, and Cathay Pacific’s network, being only a few hours from Davao, is perfectly placed to allow the Dabawenyos world travel in a much easier way.

The whole “Life Well Traveled” experience should be relaxing, reassuring, safe and secure.

“Travel isn’t about getting from A to B. It’s an experience that starts the moment one goes online, the people you talk to and encounter upon check-in, walking through the gates, stepping in the plane, picking up the bags at the destination. All of those experiences the airline makes sure are aligned with ‘Life Well Traveled’,” said Mr. Bradshaw.

“The moment you get on board a Cathay Dragon you feel that your adventure has already started. And coming back, when you get on that plane, you feel like you’re already home. You’re in that sense of comfort and relaxation that home can bring you,” he added.

“When things go wrong, and they do, and sometimes completely beyond control of the airline, we have to fix it without question because that’s what people remember. When something goes wrong, how did the airline fix it? How did we respond? And we take incredible care to make sure that passenger experience is the best it can be even things go wrong.”

As to their team, the airline takes great care in trying to align the employee experience with the customer experience. They believe that they can’t expect the team to deliver fantastic outcome if they don’t believe in the brand and don’t understand what it is.

Is it going to be sustaining?

“We’re not that sort of airline that starts an operation and then gives up. We know that it will have a couple of difficult years ahead. We’ve been operating here since 1946 and we’re a long-term player. When we commit to a market we really want to make it work. We have a brand and a reputation to uphold here in the Philippines. We’re the largest international carrier here and one of the strongest airline brands, too.”

“We’re not taking this market for granted. Just because we’re here we won't presume that people will fly with us. We will work hard to make this happen.”

The Pinoy-Cathay Pacific Connection

Cathay Pacific is very privileged that the brand has a strong emotional connection with the Filipinos. Their first international destination is always Hong Kong. The first international airline they take used to be Cathay. Families who grew into traveling over the decades grew into traveling with Cathay Pacific. And seeing a Filipino heading the cabin in the plane also helps, that builds a warm connection.

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