Cathay Pacific is the flag carrier of Hong Kong, with its
head office and main hub located at Hong Kong International
Airport, although the airline's registered office is on
the 33rd floor of One Pacific Place. The airline's operations
include scheduled passenger and cargo services to 114 destinations
in 36 countries worldwide, including codeshares and joint
ventures, with a fleet of 126 wide-body aircraft, consisting
of Airbus A330s and A340s, Boeing 747s and 777s. The airline
also operates fifth freedom flights from Bangkok and Taipei,
its major focus cities. Its wholly-owned subsidiary, Dragonair,
operates to 29 destinations in the Asia-Pacific region from
its Hong Kong base. In 2009, Cathay Pacific and Dragonair
operated 56,000 flights, carrying nearly 25 million passengers
and over 1.52 million tonnes of cargo and mail.
The airline was founded on 24 September 1946 by American
Roy C. Farrell and Australian Sydney H. de Kantzow, with
each man putting up HK$1 to register the airline. The airline
made the world's first non-stop transpolar flight flying
over the North Pole in July 1998, and it also operated the
maiden flight to arrive at the new Hong Kong International
Airport. The airline celebrated its 60th anniversary in
2006; and as of October 2009, its major shareholders are
Swire Pacific and Air China. It is reciprocally one of the
major shareholders of Air China.
Cathay Pacific is a founding member of the Oneworld alliance,
with its subsidiary, Dragonair, as an affiliate member.
The airline was awarded with a Five Star Airline ranking
and 2009 Airline of the Year by Skytrax.