Our History

Cathay Pacific was established in Hong Kong in 1946 by Roy Farrell and Sydney De Kantzow. The pair began with two DC3 aircraft, ‘Betsy’ and ‘Nikki’, and operated passenger flights to Manila, Bangkok, Singapore and Shanghai.

In 1948, Butterfield & Swire (now The Swire Group) took a 45% share in the company. Between 1962 and 1967, the company enjoyed spectacular growth, and introduced the world’s first international services to Osaka, Fukuoka and Nagoya in Japan.

By the end of the 1970s, we had expanded our services to Europe and North America. During the 1980s, our international network grew even further, to include London, Brisbane, Frankfurt, Vancouver, Amsterdam, Rome, San Francisco, Paris, Zurich and Manchester.

By the mid-1990s, we had assembled a fleet of aircraft that was among the youngest int he world. In 2006 we celebrated our 60th anniversary. The future is exciting at Cathay Pacific. Between 2014 - 2020, we are expecting further deliveries of 68 aircraft, taking the total fleet size to over 200.

We are strong supporters of the expansion of capacity of Hong Kong’s international airport via the third runway. We have made a substantial investment and built our own Cargo terminal at the airport, not to forget the interests we have in supporting catering, aircraft maintenance, ground handling companies and the corporate headquarters, Cathay Pacific City, at Hong Kong International Airport.