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Applications open for inaugural Cathay Pacific 24-Hour Hackathon

Cathay Pacific Airways is pleased to announce that applications are now open for the first Cathay Pacific 24-Hour Hackathon – an innovative contest centered on enhancing the customer travel experience through technological solutions in airline operations.

Innovation and technology has been essential in supporting the growth of the aviation industry. Cathay Pacific Airways strives to employ innovative solutions to provide the best possible service to its passengers by enabling them to travel well. Advanced information technology and user-centric solutions, such as self-service bag drop facilities and “chatbot”, an online chat application that uses artificial intelligence technology, have proven effective in helping to improve the airline’s operational efficiency and enhance its passengers’ travel experience.

The Cathay Pacific 24-hour Hackathon is the airline’s continuous efforts to encourage innovation especially among young people. The event will also expose participants to the diverse career opportunities available in the aviation industry. Young tech-savvy enthusiasts are invited to join the airline’s first ever 24-hour software development and design challenge to build innovative and unique applications to enhance the customer travel journey.

This intense contest will take place on 22 – 23 October at the airline’s headquarters at Cathay Pacific City. A maximum of 150 applicants will be selected for the event and will form a series of teams, each consisting of individuals specialising in software development, design and business development, in order to collaborate and create a better experience for travellers at every stage of their journey. During the 24-hour challenge, participants work together to formulate ideas, develop software and conduct a pitch.

Highlighting the role of technology in creating a “Life Well Travelled” experience, Cathay Pacific Director Corporate Development and IT Paul Loo said: “At Cathay Pacific, we are committed to introducing industry-leading products and services by integrating innovation into our business and operations. The Hackathon serves as a great means to engage the local community, foster innovation and hear new ideas from the Hong Kong public, especially among our younger generation.”

Over the duration of the challenge, participants will be exposed to multitude aspects of the customer journey, from trip planning, ticket reservation, check-in, to inflight experience and customer feedback. Workshops offering practical advice, such as how to make a three-minute sales pitch, will be provided to help participants better equip themselves for the challenge. They will also be mentored by experienced aviation and technical professionals from various fields, including application design and user interface design.

At the end of the 24-hour period, participants will present their ideas to the judging panel, which will consist of the airline’s senior executives. Project results will be judged on relevance to aviation, innovation, user interface and user experience, functionality, features, and potential in the market. Participants will be competing for a pool of exciting prizes, including free roundtrip tickets to any destination on the Cathay Pacific and Dragonair networks, and mileage rewards from Asia Miles.

Young people aged 15 and above who are interested in joining the first Cathay Pacific 24-Hour Hackathon can apply at Applicants will be asked to apply for the role of either developer, designer or entrepreneur. Selection will be based on each applicant’s understanding and knowledge of their chosen role, with priority given to those who demonstrate a strong passion for aviation. Applications close on 10 October 2016.