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Sharing Our Passion

The Interview Process

Patrick Chan

Flight Purser

As a Cathay Pacific flight purser, Patrick has an active and rewarding career where he benefits from ongoing training and enjoys working alongside teammates from more than 14 countries.

What kind of work experience do you think will benefit a career with Cabin Crew?

I think many customer service and people-focussed roles can give someone the foundation skills they need for Cabin Crew. One of my previous jobs was for a Japanese company that had very high customer service standards; I learned confidence and many transferrable skills such as being observant and paying attention to small details. That training benefited my career as a flight attendant as it is very important to stay positive and sense customers’ needs.

What is the difference between being a flight purser and a flight attendant?

Flight pursers have greater responsibilities. In the Economy cabin, I am the leader. It’s my job to ensure my team works with synergy to deliver a consistent service. In the Business cabin, I support teammates by ensuring that the galley is safe and tidy, that meals are well cooked and ready for service, and that we’re prepared for the next service flow. The roles may be different but our goals are the same: to ensure a safe and happy flight.

What training was involved in becoming a Flight Purser?

My promotion training was very intense and exciting. It was a two-week training program that assisted me in developing technical and soft skills in areas such as galley management, meal heating, passenger handling and leadership.

Can you tell us about a challenging in-flight experience you have had?

As a Cabin Crew member, our focus is on ensuring that passengers arrive at their destination safely. One time a passenger approached me in a panic because her husband had fallen unconscious. At first I was nervous because I had never encountered an ill passenger, but then I calmed myself down and recalled my training. With the help of my senior teammates, we carried out the appropriate first aid procedure; the passenger finally woke and we were rewarded with a big smile and “Thank you!”

What would you tell someone who was interested in joining the Cabin Crew?

Being a Cabin Crew member is quite physically and mentally demanding; you need to work long hours and deal with lots of jetlag. You need to be highly motivated and have a passion for serving people.

Prema Galway

Senior Purser and Learning & Development Executive

Prema has many different roles in life. At Cathay Pacific, she’s a senior flight purser and a trainer. At home, she’s a mother to two toddlers and a wife and sister. Her career allows her the flexibility to balance her two passions, flying and family.

What made you decide to join Cathay Pacific?

Cathay Pacific has always been an airline of high repute in India. I was working for a very good airline in India at that time but wanted to step up to a global airline. My sister had joined a year before and was loving it, so the opportunity to apply was exciting. I've been with Cathay Pacific for 18 years now.

Was it difficult settling into Hong Kong?

Considering that Hong Kong is quite different from India, it wasn't hard at all to make friends and settle in. It's important to be open to other cultures, people and food, and to be willing to adapt to change. I missed India but I fell in love with Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong and its uniqueness.

What motivated you to become a trainer?

I've always loved teaching. It's been a passion of mine since high school. I never expected to be able to combine my passion for teaching with my career at an airline, so it’s been a beautiful opportunity to put my signature strengths to use at work. It is a dream job, in many ways. It’s rewarding to encourage, coach and support trainees and help them to succeed.

Can you tell me about a memorable training experience?

The most gratifying has been facilitating a developmental course on increasing wellbeing and happiness levels. Myself and some other trainers were selected and trained by neuroscientists, and then we facilitated the course to more than 2000 cabin crew members, many of whom were struggling to balance their home life with their careers. It was well received and a beautiful opportunity to improve people’s lives.

Is it difficult to balance flying with family?

It’s easier than most people think. We are given days off after each flight, and this provides an opportunity for us to spend time with loved ones. My family loves the travel discounts and the goodies that I bring home from various ports. If I asked my kids if they’d prefer me to be a stay-at-home mum, their answer would be “No!”

Mabel Pun

Inflight Service Manager

Mabel has enjoyed a long and progressive Cabin Crew career. Since joining Cathay Pacific as a flight attendant in 1985, she has received many promotion opportunities to roles such as flight purser and senior flight purser. She now works as an inflight service manager and a performance and development executive.

How and why did you join Cathay Pacific?

I went to a ‘walk in’ interview at a hotel and was lucky to be one of 20 successful applicants among 2,000. I had a passion for hospitality and service, and so I enjoyed how Cabin Crew allowed me to not only travel the world but also develop self-confidence and interpersonal skills. Cathay Pacific is the most admired airlines in the world; I was proud to join and I’m still proud 30 years later.

Tell me about your career progression from flight attendant?

Over the years I was promoted to flight purser, senior flight purser and then inflight service manager. Then I decided that I wanted to broaden my horizons while still continuing with my flying career. Cathay Pacific supported me in achieving this by appointing me to the performance and development executive role, which I carry out in addition to my inflight service manager role.

What does your training role entail?

As a performance and development executive, I am focussed on raising inflight service standard to new heights through performance development, relationship management and crisis support. I make certain that the Cabin Crew meet Cathay Pacific’s renowned safety, security and service standards, and that they have a positive attitude for the delivery of “Service Straight from the Heart”!

Where is your favourite destination?

Italy. Not only because it’s the city of fashion and a fascinating place for shopping, but the Italian food and wines are excellent too. I usually enjoy dining in the restaurants near Spanish Steps or Trevi Fountain (Wish Fountain). And after shopping, a cappuccino in a small café is relaxing!

What do you like to do when you’re not flying?

I spend quality time with my family. I am passionate about learning and so I also regularly update myself on changes to the business environment and company policies. I enjoy enrolling myself in educational courses in areas such as human resources and computer training. This is to strengthen my skills as an inflight service manager and performance and development executive, and to be good role model that inspires my team to excel.

Do you have any words of advice for people who want to join Cabin Crew?

You must be a good team player, patient, personable, and able to work under pressure when handling difficult situations. You also need to have a great passion for the service industry and enjoy meeting people from different parts of the world each day. You should be prepared to work shift hours as well as during the festive season.

If you have some questions, please visit the FAQs page.