(HONG KONG) The Dragonair Journey of Dreams today provided 53 young beneficiaries of the Child Development Fund (CDF) the chance to experience the thrill of flying with their families and mentors. More than 170 Hong Kong residents enjoyed a happy and memorable first-ever flight together.
Chief Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam was the Guest of Honour, officiating at this meaningful event together with Dragonair Chief Executive Officer Algernon Yau and Dragonair Board Director James Tong. Also joining the participants for their first flight were Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung and Permanent Secretary for Labour Welfare Annie Tam.
The Labour and Welfare Bureau’s CDF encourages participants aged 10-16 from disadvantaged backgrounds to plan for their future and accumulate savings and intangible assets that can aid their future development. Sharing a similar vision to the CDF, Dragonair endeavours to broaden the horizons of the next generation, especially those from less-advantaged backgrounds. By drawing on the airline’s resources, and the professional knowledge and expertise of its staff, the Journey of Dreams programme provides exposure to new things than can motivate and inspire young people to strive for their dreams.
Chief Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam said, “‘The Journey of Dreams’ is a name that fits the event very well. The event realises the dreams for a flight journey of CDF beneficiaries, and, on the other hand, matches the objectives of the CDF to encourage children to reach their dreams and maximise their potentials by consistently learning and equipping themselves with strengths in their growth process.”
Dragonair Chief Executive Officer Algernon Yau said: “Rooted in Hong Kong for 30 years, Dragonair continues to strive to nurture young people in our community. Apart from exposing them to the world of aviation, we also see the importance of helping them understand themselves, to plan for their future, and to have a deeper sense of responsibility towards the wider community. We hope this programme provides participants and their families not only with a unique experience, but also gives them the inspiration and motivation to plan for their future development.”
As a precursor to today’s flight, Dragonair ran an educational workshop, named Aviation 360, in October at which CDF participants were given behind-the-scenes insights into airline operations and gained a deeper understanding of the level of quality, professionalism and teamwork required in the industry. Today’s flight provided participants with the opportunity to see at first hand the work of frontline staff and get a broad range of professional insights they otherwise would not have had access to.
The Journey of Dreams flight took off from Hong Kong International Airport and circled over the South China Sea for approximately 90 minutes. Participants were able to try out the seat features and in-seat entertainment on the Airbus A330-300 aircraft, enjoying the inflight meals served up by Dragonair cabin crew. Over 100 volunteers and operating staff from Dragonair, including pilots, cabin crew and ground staff, supported the programme, providing assistance and sharing interesting aviation knowledge with the participants to enhance their overall flight experience.
Participant Lau Ka-ho said he enjoyed sharing today’s special moments with his mentor. “I wanted to become a social worker. Inspired by the Dragonair captain at the Aviation 360 workshop, who said he had no flying experience before being admitted to the cadet pilot programme, I realised I should make a step forward to reach my dreams, even if things seem difficult to achieve. After experiencing my first flight today, I am certainly attracted by the exciting world of aviation! This programme has inspired me to find out more about different industries as I begin to plan for my future.”
The special Dragonair flight was made possible by the generous support extended by various government departments and other organisations, including the Transport and Housing Bureau, the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department, the Immigration Department, Airport Authority Hong Kong, Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department, and Aviation Security Company Limited.