Awhile ago, I was watching National Geographic featuring Dragonair, voted as the “World’s Best Regional Airline” by Skytrax for the second consecutive year. I was really amaze on how this airline evolved, their story are just magnificent. By virtue of my interest onto finding more about this airline, I made some research … As for now, here I am blogging about the great pride with Dragonair.
Dragonair was formed in May 1985. Two months later it took to the sky for the first time with Boeing 737-200A bound for Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. At its launch, the airline had only a single aircraft, but over the next few years, backed by the vision of Hong Kong entrepreneur K.P. Chao, it was to carve out a niche for itself and set the foundation for the carrier we know today.
Dragonair’s early years were tough, as the airline fought hard to establish itself and to build up its fleet. It then began flights to the Chinese port city of Xiamen and, a year later, services were launched to Thailand’s premier resort island, Phuket. Soon its route network began to grow, fanning out across Mainland China as six destinations were added.
From the start, the airline recognized the need to encourage local talent for the future of Hong Kong’s aviation industry. In 1987, it introduced the territory’s first commercial Cadet Pilot Scheme to provide candidates selected in Hong Kong with extensive training to become world-class standard pilots.
In 1990, Cathay Pacific Airways, its parent Swire Pacific and CITIC Pacific took stakes in Dragonir. This enabled the launch of scheduled passenger services to Beijing and Shanghai at a time when the Mainland China market was just beginning to grow. And as the economy expanded, Dragonair grew with it.
The Rapid Expansion and commitment to purchasing the best and newest aircraft available, the airline replaced its fleet with state-of -the-art Airbus single-aisle and wide-bodied jets in 1991.
Growth continued with China National Aviation Corporation (Group)Limited (CNAC Group) becoming the biggest shareholder in Dragonair in 1996. CITIC Pacific retained its stake, while Swire/Cathay Pacific and the Chao Family also remained shareholders.
In addition, stakes were raised or taken in several aviation-related services. Dragonair currently holds interest in LSG Lufthansa Service Skychefs, Dah Chong Hong-Dragonair Airport GSE Service Ltd. , and HAS GSE Solutions Ltd., making the airline a truly diversified aviation group.
By the end f the 1990s, Dragonair had clearly become an international airline group. Dragonair House opened in 2000, a HK$900 million headquarters located within the infrastructure of Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok. The award winning building is the home base for more than 2,400 airline staff , a range of excellent facilities and a state-of-the are Flight Training Centre.
Far from a New Era, In september 2006, Dragonair became a wholly owned subsidiary of Cathay Pacific Airways. The integration has brought significant benefits to the travelling public by linking Dragonair’s Mainland China services with Cathay pacific’s expensive international network, and also boosts Hong Kong’s position as a leading international aviation hub.
Dragonair continues to operate as a separate airline under its own Air operator’s certificate. The Dragonair brand name remains unchanged and the airline’s own cockpit and cabin crew fly its own aircraft in the existing livery.
Today, as a member of the Cathay Pacific Group , Dragonair offers travelers seamless connections to more than 100 destinations worldwide. And by code sharing with Cathay Pacific in a number of key regional destinations and reducing the connecting time between the two airlines’ flights, provide even greater choice and flexibility.
Dragonair is considered a renowned China Expert. Dragonair has one of the world’s youngest and most modern fleets, serving 33 passenger destinations in Asia. Its routes cover an area that is home to half of the world’s population and includes some of the most interesting, exotic, and culturally varied countries.
Dragonair is renowned as the China expert, serving 17 cities in Mainland China. In 2011, for the second year running, it was voted as “World’s Best Regional Airline”by Skytrax. In 2010 it won “Best Regional Airline” by TTG Asia and named a “200 Asian Excellence Brand” by Yozhou Zhoukan. In 2008, it was voted “Best Regional Airlie: SE Asia” by Skytrax, and the “Bet Asian Airline’ at the annual Hurun Report Bet of the Best Awards. From 2002 to 2007. It was named “Best Airline-China” for six consecutive years by Skytrax and the “Best Airline(China)” in the Travel Weeky China 2007 Industry Awards.
Dragonair is unique in linking all major cities in Mainland China and Taiwan with Hong Kong.
Last 2010, Dragonair celebrated their 25 anniversary, and the airline looks back on its achievements with pride. Building on its considerable success since 1985. Dragonair’s mission continues: to provide the best pleasurable travel experience for all its customers.
I hope to fly someday with Dragonair…