Over the past few months, the home carriers of Hong Kong have introduced a number of initiatives, ranging from transporting essential medical supplies around the world to donating food to those in need and volunteering our time to help children and parents. Here are some of the ways we are striving to help our community.
Feeding the city
We donated some 30,000 pre-prepared meals to Hong Kong charity Food Angel in April and May this year. Staff volunteers from the Cathay Pacific Group also lent a hand to pack and prepare food parcels with another charity, Feeding Hong Kong, and distribute them to community members in need. Furthermore, with the needs of the community increasing as the impact of COVID-19 continues, Cathay Pacific has committed to donating an additional 200,000 meals to Food Angel over the coming six months. These initiatives align with our longstanding collaboration with both charities to donate surplus food and eliminate food waste.
Cathay Pacific Catering Services (CPCS) Sustainable Development Manager Henry Ho said: “Being able to help feed people and families most affected by the pandemic, all while avoiding food waste, means a lot to every one of us. We’re happy that we can do our bit to help.”
A virtual helping hand
Many of our Cathay Pacific volunteers have also facilitated online learning for students in Hong Kong while schools were closed. We refurbished and delivered some 650 iPads to schoolchildren in need. Our Cathay Pacific employees gave parents and students guidance on using the devices as learning tools and also provided free homework tutorials.
“This was more than a give-away exercise – we also had the chance to teach families about setup and basic usage,” says Clara Cheung, from Cathay Pacific Corporate Affairs. “Interacting with the families was very heart-warming and I’m glad I was able to do something worthwhile with my spare time.”
Bringing people home
As COVID-19 spread across the globe, travel restrictions, border controls and quarantine measures left many people – including Hong Kong residents – unable to complete their journeys. Working together with the Hong Kong SAR Government, we operated chartered flights from Japan and Wuhan in Hubei Province, helping to bring some 1,200 Hong Kong people home. Special flights were also mounted to help other travellers return to their home countries via the Hong Kong hub.
Cargo to the rescue
Demand for essential medical provisions such as surgical masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) has been at an all-time high over the past few months. We’re doing our part by operating more freighter flights, deploying hundreds of cargo-only passenger flights, and even carrying select cargo in the passenger cabins of our Boeing 777-300ER aircraft to ensure these much-needed supplies get to where they are needed as promptly as possible.
Back in February, we set up our own dedicated area inside the Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal to act as a temporary mail-handling centre, working alongside Hongkong Post’s own facility at Hong Kong International Airport. The centre was set up within two days in response to the huge influx of packages and parcels arriving at one of the world’s busiest airports as people began ordering face masks, hand sanitiser and toilet rolls from overseas providers. Over the four weeks in February and March that the centre was in operation, more than 90,000 shipments arriving on 232 pallets and in 1,693 Unit Load Devices (ULD) were processed.
For more information on Cathay Pacific’s community service stories during the global COVID-19 pandemic, visit: https://www.cathaypacific.com/cx/en_HK/about-us/community-stories.html