Each of the participants – local students who have shown a passion for aviation and a commitment to community service – was given the opportunity to take part in a series of engaging training courses and site visits that allowed them to expand their understanding of the airline industry while also giving back to the community.
After six months of inspirational learning and social interaction, the programme culminated in a graduation ceremony that was attended by participating students along with friends and family members as well as aviation and community partners, non-government organisations and volunteers from Cathay Pacific.
“I Can Fly is one of the youth and community programmes we are most proud of here at Cathay Pacific,” said Cathay Pacific General Manager Corporate Affairs Patrick Yu.
“These bright young students are the future of Hong Kong’s world-leading aviation industry and the knowledge they gain from taking part in the programme will be invaluable in pursuing their own careers in this thriving sector. We feel greatly privileged to be able to help grow their passion for aviation and foster within them a valuable sense of camaraderie, teamwork and, most importantly, care for society.”
Throughout the programme, students visited several prominent aviation-related facilities and organisations, including Cathay Pacific’s headquarters at Cathay City, Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company (HAECO), the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) of Hong Kong, and the Government Flying Service (GFS).
Students were also taught how to use people-focused “design thinking” as a tool for social innovation, and had the chance to advocate the worthy causes championed by our three designated Cathay ChangeMakers, notably combatting plastic pollution, tackling food waste, and supporting ethnic minorities living in Hong Kong. Indeed, I Can Fly also included a number of students from ethnic minority groups, ensuring young people from all backgrounds have the opportunity to gain valuable experience.
In addition, 30 outstanding students were invited on a special overseas summer adventure to Adelaide, Australia, where they were able to further explore different aspects of aviation and meet with people from various cultures. During the trip, students were treated to a rare visit to the Adelaide Flight Training Centre – the site where Cathay Pacific trains all of its pilots – where they were able to experience the life of a cadet pilot and enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fly a small aircraft.
Fiona Yeung, one of the students who participated in the 2019 I Can Fly programme, said: “Becoming a flight attendant always seemed like a far-off dream that I never thought I would be able to achieve. But now, with the valuable experience and training I gained through I Can Fly, I’m confident I can make this dream a reality. The programme has really deepened my knowledge of aviation and I’ve benefitted greatly from it.
“I’ve also formed a lot of great friendships with other participants who are just as enthusiastic about aviation as I am, and the experience has allowed me to really step outside of my comfort zone. I’ll never forget the memories we created together.”