Our History

At Cathay Pacific, we’ve been letting our passion fly for over 65 years.

Our airline 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 in the world.

Significant investments have been made in our fleet and operations to help transform Hong Kong into a world-leading global transportation hub. These include catering, aircraft maintenance and ground handling companies, as well as the new Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal and Cathay Pacific City, our corporate headquarters located at Hong Kong International Airport.