Cathay Pacific ties in vaccination push with private party marketing

Cathay Pacific is pushing for residents in Hong Kong to get the vaccination by hosting a private party on board its new Airbus A321neo aircraft. The party will see one winner and their travel companion, who is also required to be fully vaccinated, experience and enjoy the high-tech suite of inflight products that the A321neo has to offer, along with Cathay Pacific’s signature world-class service.

In addition to the party, the airline is also giving away 20 million Asia Miles in a lucky draw. Ten winners will receive one million Asia Miles each, while another 100 will receive 100,000 Asia Miles. Winners can redeem these for a range of flight, travel, lifestyle and entertainment awards, and with our the Miles Plus Cash payment option, they can choose how they want to use their Asia Miles. Eligible participants must be Hong Kong Identity Card holders who have been fully vaccinated before the end of August 2021.

Meanwhile to thank all of its Hong Kong-based ground employees who choose to get fully vaccinated, the airline will be giving them two days of vaccination leave. All Hong Kong-based employees will also be eligible to win Asia Miles and an array of other goodies, including free Air Travel Bubble flights and staycations. Hong Kong employees can receive a free pre-vaccination medical assessment to determine whether they are physically suitable for vaccination.

These incentives follow Cathay Pacific’s “Arm up, let’s fly again!” campaign that was launched in April to build awareness about the importance of getting vaccinated. Through the campaign, the brand wanted to build awareness about the importance of getting vaccinated as soon as possible. According to a statement by Cathay Pacific, the response was very positive with 80% of pilots and about 50% of cabin crew in Hong Kong having either booked or received their vaccination.

Cathay Pacific CEO Augustus Tang said: “We are incredibly grateful to the more than 80% of our pilots and over 50% of our cabin crew who have already booked or received their vaccinations. We hope many more of our employees will follow their example as we all work together to help build an immune barrier in Hong Kong as soon as possible.

“As Hong Kong’s home airline, Cathay Pacific strongly believes in the importance of vaccination against COVID-19, which is key to the resumption of regular international air travel and the return to normal life for everyone in Hong Kong.”

Meanwhile, just yesterday Cathay Pacific reached an agreement with Hong Kong SAR government to extend the drawdown period of the HK$7.8 billion loan facility for 12 months. This arrangement extends the drawdown period of the facility to 8 June 2022. The bridge loan facility was provided to the airline as part of the HK$39 billion recapitalisation announced on 9 June 2020 to help the airline withstand the industry-wide downturn. 

Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Officer Augustus Tang said: “We greatly appreciate the Government’s confidence in the airline and its long-term prospects despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic. We have not drawn down the facility over the past 12 months as we have been adopting a suite of measures to preserve cash. We are thankful for the Government’s decision to extend the drawdown period, which provides us with more flexibility to manage our liquidity position.”

The Group’s liquidity balance remains at more than HK$28 billion as at 31 December 2020. Additionally, it has successfully raised HK$6.74 billion from a convertible bond issue in February, and US$650 million under the medium term note programme last month.

Tang added: “We continue to be able to raise debt financing in the capital markets. This reflects the investing community’s confidence in our prospects as a leading airline.  As we look to the future, it is critically important that we continue to remain agile, focus on prudent cash management and explore capital financing opportunities as they arise.  As travel demand gradually resumes, we remain absolutely confident in the long-term future of Cathay Pacific and Hong Kong as an international aviation hub.”