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Interview: HK's aviation benefited great from its return to mainland: Cathay Pacific CE


14:54, June 26, 2012

HONG KONG, June 26 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong has benefited tremendously from its return to the mainland. Being able to play a role to support the growth and development of the mainland economy, Hong Kong will achieve further prosperity in the future, John J Slosar, chief executive of the Cathay Pacific Airways Limited, said during a recent exclusive interview with Xinhua.


"The aviation story in the development of Hong Kong in the past 15 years has been a fantastic one. The growth in flights, the growth in destinations, the growth in passenger numbers have all been fantastic." This is Slosar's comment on the overall development of the city's aviation industry.

What's made that development happen? In his eyes Hong Kong returning to China is the most important factor.

Slosar explained that Hong Kong's return to the motherland on July 1, 1997 created huge amount of interest among Chinese passengers to visit "the Orient Pearl" and thus has helped the city to expand its network into the mainland in a big way.

As one of the four pillar industries in Hong Kong, tourism has enjoyed tremendous development in the past decade, which has benefited the aviation industry. Statistics show that last year in every 10 Hong Kong visitors, nearly 7 were from the mainland. With a 65-year history, Cathay Pacific is lucky enough to jump at chances and prosper.

"It's always a good thing to be in a market where it grows. We are fortunate to base here where Hong Kong is very much in the middle of Asia and now a part of China. Half of the world population lives within a 5 hour flight of Hong Kong so there are lots of reasons for people to be coming to and through Hong Kong," Slosar said.

15 years after the reunification, the relationship between Hong Kong and the mainland has become broader and stronger. Benefited from the economic boom of the mainland, Hong Kong has also made unique contributions by participating in the development of the mainland economy.

"As long as the mainland economy continues to be strong, Hong Kong will have a role in helping that to happen and Hong Kong will achieve prosperity by playing that role," said he.

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