Youth and Education

We believe in investing in a range of educational programmes for Hong Kong’s young people and building on their interest in aviation. Our aim is to support and nurture today’s young people, who are our future, by providing them with opportunities for skills and personal development and capacity building. This section provides some of this year’s highlights.

Evaluating progress on English On Air

Since 2007, Cathay Pacific has been organising the company’s flagship English on Air (EOA) programme to provide English-speaking opportunities for local young people in Hong Kong. In 2011, around 400 students participated in this programme. One of the comments we have received in the past is whether we are able to measure the effectiveness of our efforts. To this end, we have devised a scorecard to evaluate the outcome of our EOA activities with reference to the London Benchmarking Group model starting from the 2011/12 academic year. A survey was conducted with 93 students and three English teachers from the two schools in Tung Chung, who were involved in the three programmes run during October and November 2011. The results showed that the programme performed well against goals set out in five aspects. This methodology will allow us to compare our performance in future years in a structured, systematic manner. Next year, we will be evaluating the English on Air programme on a full academic year basis.

Celebrating one hundred years of aviation in Hong Kong

2011 marked the 100th year of aviation development in Hong Kong, and we celebrated this significant milestone with a number of events, one of which was the Cathay Pacific Aviation Knowledge Contest, jointly organised by the Hong Kong CAD and the Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps. More than 260 teams, comprising 780 students, from different secondary schools in Hong Kong displayed their knowledge and passion for aviation, with the final winners, three students from the Law Ting Pong Secondary School, winning the chance to go to Seattle, USA, for a delivery flight of one of our new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.

Another related event was the launch of the Dragonair Youth Aviation Academy, which incorporates a youth-oriented careers talk element ('Aviation Insights') and an educational programme (Dragonair Aviation Certificate Programme). The launch event was supported by 20 industry partners and attended by around 300 tertiary students. The Academy aims to provide young people in Hong Kong with exposure to the aviation industry.

Life Education Activity Programme (LEAP)

Cathay Pacific is the main sponsor of the Life Education Activity Programme (LEAP), which teaches young people in Hong Kong about the dangers of drug and substance abuse, as well as conducts discussions on peer pressure, decision-making and the human body. An average school year sees more than 80,000 students from 170 schools attending the LEAP sessions.

The airline has supported LEAP since 1994 with ticket sponsorship and business expertise. In December 2011, the airline rendered support to LEAP’s fundraising event '88,000 Reasons to Celebrate – a Vivienne Tam Charity Fashion Show for LEAP' with prizes for lucky draw and auction, as well as public relations advice. The event raised a total of HK$1.5 million for LEAP projects.

The airline’s senior management sit on the board of LEAP. In 2009, Director Corporate Affairs Quince Chong became the Chairman of the organisation.


Dragonair held the Xialongren (literally, 'little dragons') programme to provide access to the aviation industry to more than 50 students aged between 12 and 15 from all over China. They were brought on a flight to Hong Kong with a special visit to the cockpit, flight simulators and mockup areas in Cathay Pacific City, as well as meeting with pilots and cabin crew.

“Many mainland children are very interested in the aviation industry but have little access to get in touch with it, especially those from impoverished families. We want to make this opportunity available to them.”

Sam Swire
General Manager China

To highlight Dragonair’s environmental commitment, participants were also asked to observe what the airline does to encourage recycling and reduce waste inflight. They were then asked to design a poster to illustrate the environmental practices they saw.

“Big thanks to Dragonair for fulfilling my flying dream! I will always remember my first flying experience. I’ve seen the outside world on this trip and I will definitely share the experience with my friends and relatives.”

Chen Chuqiao from Sichuan

Dragonair Aviation Certificate Programme (DACP)

The Dragonair Aviation Certificate Programme (DACP) expanded its application criteria in 2011 to allow the general public to take part in the popular youth-oriented activity, where previously it was only available to members of the Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps, the co-organiser of this educational programme. In addition to having the opportunity to explore the aviation world through a series of lectures, training sessions, briefings and tour of aviation facilities, each participant was mentored by a Dragonair pilot. Among the 90 programme alumni graduated between 2006 and 2011, a total of 30% have already embarked on a career in the aviation industry, including working as air traffic controllers, aircraft engineers, flight attendants and pilots for Dragonair as well as sister airline Cathay Pacific.

CX City Visits

Cathay Pacific’s headquarters, Cathay Pacific City, is fully equipped with aviation and training facilities that are open to different non-profit organisations through a visit programme. In 2011, more than 14,500 visitors from 375 groups from schools, universities, professional bodies and NGOs took advantage of the programme.

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