Cathay Pacific aircraft over Hong Kong

Deutsche Telekom to provide harmonised Wi-Fi portal for Cathay Pacific

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Cathay Pacific aircraft over Hong Kong

Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific Airways has selected Deutsche Telekom to develop and support its future Wi-Fi portal across the airline’s whole connected fleet.

The service will be rolled out by the end of the year on Cathay’s already Wi-Fi enabled Airbus A350 – followed by its Boeing 777 and Airbus A330 fleets.

One key benefit of the service provided to Cathay is its ability to scale, with the airline’s future requirements catered for as part of the agreement. The single portal also facilitates the ongoing launch of new, up-to-date features harmonised across platforms.

“Our dedicated in-flight connectivity solution is based on our feature-rich ISP core platform,” said David Fox, Vice President In-flight & Connectivity Services at Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier. “It is designed to meet Cathay’s current as well as its future connectivity needs.”

From Cathay Pacific’s perspective, Vivian Lo, General Manager Customer Experience and Design, highlights that a highly connected world means it is important to give passengers a seamless and consistent Wi-Fi service.

Cathay Pacific aircraft over Hong Kong

Airlines help CommonPass Digital Health Pass to enable safer travel

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Cathay Pacific aircraft over Hong Kong

Swiss-based non-profit, The Commons Project Foundation and the World Economic Forum have unveiled international trials for digital health pass CommonPass, by Cathay Pacific Airways and United Airlines.

For Cathay Pacific Airways, the first internal trial is planned for a flight between Hong Kong International Airport and Singapore Changi International Airport, using rapid testing technology provided by Prenetics.

For United Airlines, the first airline to trial the platform in the US, volunteers will use the service for flights between London Heathrow Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport.

Deployments are planned with additional airlines and routes across Asia, Africa, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East in quick succession.

CommonPass is built on the CommonPass Framework that establishes standard methods for lab results and vaccination records to be certified and enables governments to set and verify their own health criteria for travellers.

To use CommonPass, travellers take a COVID-19 test at a certified lab and upload the results to their mobile phone. They then complete any additional health screening questionnaires required by the destination country.

With test results and questionnaire complete, CommonPass confirms a traveller’s compliance with the destination country entry requirements and generates a QR code. That code can be scanned by airline staff and border officials. A QR code can be printed for users without mobile devices.

CommonPass adheres to tight privacy principles and is designed to protect personal data in compliance with relevant privacy regulations, including GDPR.

For governments, CommonPass and the CommonPass Framework provide a more reliable means of assessing the health status of incoming travellers and gives them the flexibility to adapt their entry requirements as the pandemic evolves, including whether and what type of lab tests or vaccinations to require.

“Individual national responses will not be sufficient to address this global crisis,” said Christoph Wolff, Head of Mobility at the World Economic Forum. “Bans, bubbles and quarantines may provide short term protection, but developed and developing nations alike need a long-term, flexible, and risk-based approach like CommonPass.”

The goal of the trials is to replicate the full traveller experience of taking a test for COVID-19 prior to departure, uploading the result to their phones, and demonstrating their compliance with entry requirements at their departure and destination airports.

“Our goal is to test and refine a system that would best support the progressive and safe re-opening of travel, through the adoption of a trusted and harmonised global framework” said Lavinia Lau, Director Commercial of Cathay Pacific Airways. “The CommonPass framework can incorporate specific requirements of individual countries and governments and can be used to provide more assurance to travellers as well as the population of destination countries.”

“CommonPass also helps travellers stay up-to-date with and adhere to evolving government entry policies,” Lau added.

“Testing is a key component of a multi-layered approach to safely reopening travel,” said Steve Morrissey, United’s vice president, regulatory and policy. “Trials with solutions like CommonPass are critical to demonstrate the potential for testing as an alternative to blanket quarantine measures or travel restrictions, while we continue to focus on the safety and health of our customers and employees.”

Cathay Pacific aircraft

Cathay Pacific announces more ambitious single-use plastic target

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The Cathay Pacific Group has released its 2019 Sustainable Development Report, setting out its efforts in moving towards greener aviation.

Despite the current COVID-19 pandemic and its financial impact, Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Officer Augustus Tang commented: “We are very determined to play our part in this hugely important undertaking; one which requires us to be financially successful but in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. Our commitment to developing sustainably with transparency and accountability is undiminished.”

The Group has set a new single-use plastic reduction target of reducing its single-use plastic footprint by 50% by the end of 2022, removing nearly 200 million pieces of single-use plastic from its operations annually. To achieve this the Group has begun a thorough analysis of its inventory to identify items that can either be eliminated or replaced by alternative more sustainable materials, or by recycled plastics.

A previous initiative saw the removal of 32 million single use plastic items from its operations in 2019.

Cathay Pacific latest to require passengers wear face masks

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Cathay Pacific has become the latest airline to make the wearing of face masks mandatory, where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

From 15 May 2020, passengers are required to wear face masks in situations where they cannot maintain a physical distance of 2 metres from others, or as directed by airline employees. This includes during check-in; in lounges; during boarding; in the aircraft cabin; and during disembarkation.

Passengers who are unable to tolerate a face mask, including young children, are exempt from this requirement.

Passengers are asked to bring their own appropriate face mask, either cloth or disposable, to wear throughout their journey.

This face mask requirement will remain mandatory until further notice.