The Honourable CY Leung, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, was Guest of Honour at the ceremony, joined by Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Ivan Chu. Other guests included Cathay Pacific Executive Director Algernon Yau, Cathay Pacific Director Corporate Affairs James Tong and Civil Aviation Department Deputy Director (Special Duties) Kevin Choi.
Speaking at the pledging ceremony, Mr Chu said: “I Can Fly not only provides young people the opportunity to learn about aviation and contribute to the community, but it also nurtures talents for the industry. The programme has benefited 3,700 young people and made some significant achievements since its launch in 2003, with a recent survey showing that nearly a third of I Can Fly graduates are now pursuing careers in aviation. I wish all participants this year would achieve their dreams with flying colours!”
Over the next six months, the students will be led by Cathay Pacific pilots and staff volunteers – part of what makes the programme so unique. They will learn about various aspects of the aviation industry including inflight services and flight operations, and be guided by aviation professionals through a range of interactive activities that will help with their self-development. At the end of the programme, approximately 100 outstanding participants will be selected to take part in trips to visit major overseas aviation facilities.
As an I Can Fly 2005 alumnus and volunteer for the past two programmes, Cathay Pacific cabin crew Philip Chan volunteered once again as a staff leader, saying: “Although industry information may be available on other channels, I Can Fly is unique programme in allowing members to directly interact with, and get hands-on experience from, industry professionals. As a flight attendant for more than four years, I feel happy to share my experience of meeting and working with people from around the world with the participants.”
Since its launch 13 years ago, the programme has had a significant impact on the lives of many young people, not only in helping them to step into the aviation world, but also in building their awareness and sense of social responsibility.
Ms Cheng Lai-kit, who teaches at the Hong Kong Sea School, has witnessed the growth and development of her student, Chung Ka-wing, who joined the 6th I Can Fly. Ms Cheng said: “Ka-wing used to lack confidence and goals in life. In the programme, he met many other students and began to feel more positive. Being selected to join the overseas trip further boosted his confidence. He became more proactive and eager to learn and dedicated his Saturdays to studying for an aviation engineering course. He later shared his positive changes with schoolmates, which had a big impact on them and made the school’s teachers very thankful.”
The success of the I Can Fly programme relies on the support of various organisations, Cathay Pacific staff volunteers and alumni coordinators. For this year’s programme, more than 70 volunteers and coordinators will be providing help and guidance for the I Can Fly members.
Learn more icanfly.cathaypacific.com.