Cathay Pacific is celebrating 75 years of service, with a series of new initiatives, that pays “homage to history, celebrating the power of connection or looking forward to a re-energised future.”
To celebrate 75 years of history, the airline has upcycled parts of retired aircraft into metal pens, cardholders and aviation tags, and restitched hundreds of cockpit and cabin crew uniforms to create an exclusive range of limited-edition merchandise, all with a tangible connection to the airline’s past.
Customers have the opportunity to get one of 1,000 special collector’s box sets each featuring seven aircraft models, from the airline’s very first Douglas DC-3 aircraft, “Betsy”, to the newest member of its fleet, the Airbus A321neo.
Additionally, 435 limited-edition pen and cardholder sets have been crafted out of aluminium reclaimed from B-HUJ, the airline’s final Boeing 747-400 passenger aircraft, and engraved with a unique serial number.
“For aviation fans it means a lot to own a piece of the aircraft,” said Jessica Lee, Brand Manager at Cathay.
Regarding the challenges presented by the pen, Lee explained: “A lot of traditional factories work with raw, new aluminium and it was really hard to find a factory that was willing to create a mould based on our small quantities. But we really wanted to make this a very special, very crafted, very limited-edition item, just a few hundred pieces.
“We did a lot of 3D prototyping with plastics, mould after mould. For example, the pen’s weight kept changing: we wanted the composites in one end of the pen to be a bit heavier, so it was better balanced. We also carefully thought about the shape, to make it all look like the front of the plane.”
The card holder presented a different set of issues. “The mechanics on the slide of the cardholder was completely different with metal. Putting two metal surfaces together and sliding back and forth –wasn’t smooth,” said Lee. “At the same time, we didn’t want to sandblast it and make it all shiny like it’s a brand-new, off-the-shelf product: we wanted to keep that rawness of little markings, or a bubble, or a scratch.’
Customers can also give their luggage a touch of history with limited-edition aviation-themed luggage tags. Each has been formed from the body of Cathay Pacific’s Boeing 777-200 B-HND aircraft – affectionately called the “Haneda Jet” – which joined the fleet on 13 June 1996 and carried more than six million passengers over her lifetime.
Cathay Pacific has also partnered with Hong Kong lifestyle brand G.O.D. to upcycle uniforms from its crew into a selection of accessories and homewares.
“We felt confident with G.O.D.’s expertise, their knowledge, and that they could bring their point of view in terms of stylish design,” said Lee.
“We wanted it to feel very crafted, unique, and also very Cathay,” she added. “You have the silk ties; you have black, different shades of red; and then a white blouse with a brushwing pattern. It’s quite iconic, it gives a good flavour of the uniforms, aesthetically looks great in the house, and it’s also something that represents G.O.D.”
“It was definitely a challenge to combine all the different colours, fabrics and details together in a way that didn’t look contrived,” said Douglas Young, Co-founder and CEO of G.O.D. “It was also something new for the manufacturers – each item has a unique pattern, requiring a careful selection of fabric. We also wanted to make sure we used as much of the material as possible as it would be a shame to waste any – so we used the offcuts to make stylish woven straps for the bags, for example.”
All 75th anniversary memorabilia is available exclusively on the new Cathay shopping platform
Cathay Pacific is also launching its first-ever cocktail collection, created in collaboration with award-winning craft-bottled cocktail brand LAIBA and available exclusively in Hong Kong. The four creations – Hong Kong Lemon Tease, Shanghai Spicy Martini, London Ginger Snap and Osaka Kanpai Sour, are inspired by some of Cathay’s signature routes.
Those wishing to discover the quintessential Cathay Pacific First Class experience can do so at Salisterra at The Upper House in Hong Kong, which is offering an exclusive celebration menu between 20 September and 17 October 2021. The menu features Cathay Pacific’s signature Imperial caviar paired with Krug Grande Cuvée, Champagne, France, NV and Château Lynch Bages, Bordeaux, France, 2008 from its legendary wine cellar – all served with Cathay Pacific’s signature tableware.