Ho Chi Minh City, May 02, 2019 – Hong Kong’s home airline, Cathay Pacific, launched the Vietnam chapter of its ‘I Can Fly’ program last weekend, giving underprivileged children from around Ho Chi Minh City a unique educational experience that provides both valuable insights into the world of aviation and helps with their personal development.
The 10 students from the Thang Long School of English and Vocational Education spent 20-21 April on a guided tour of Tan Son Nhat International Airport, where the various careers on offer for aspiring aviators were discussed and presented, with everyone from chefs to pilots taking the time to talk to the children about how they can kickstart their careers in one of the world’s most dynamic industries.
2019 marks the first time that I Can Fly has taken place in Vietnam. The program was run in conjunction with local NGO Saigon Children’s Charity CIO.
The students, who are aged between 12 and 15 years old and who have achieved excellent academic results, spent the two days learning about the different aspects of aviation. They visited an inflight food processing centre, met with Cathay Pacific pilots and engineers and spoke with the airline’s cabin crew to discover more about inflight service roles. The children also toured cargo handling areas as well as airport operation facilities, and – many for the first time – boarded a Cathay Pacific aircraft.
Cathay Pacific Country Manager Vietnam Lance Kwong said: “I have been lucky enough to have spent my entire career in aviation and walking these kids through the facilities at Tan Son Nhat certainly takes me back.
“At the very beginning of my career, I did a similar tour in Hong Kong and it opened my eyes to the broad array of careers on offer within this industry. With I Can Fly, Cathay Pacific has always sought to make aviation both aspirational and accessible as a career choice for young people, and it’s an honour for me to be able to bring that vision to Vietnam, and to these kids here today.
“The sky truly is the limit for these kids,” added Lance.
Ly Uyen Nhi, 14, from Thang Long’s Upper English Class, said after the event: “My friends and I feel truly happy and grateful that we have been selected for Cathay Pacific’s I Can Fly program. This exciting experience strengthens my dream to pursue a career in aviation in the future as a flight attendant.”
In addition to the kids’ big day out, Cathay Pacific has also awarded scholarships to 25 other children through the Saigon Children’s Charity CIO to help their families cover the tuition costs.
About Cathay Pacific
Cathay Pacific Airways is an international airline registered and based in Hong Kong, offering scheduled passenger and cargo services to over 200 destinations in Asia, North America, Australia, Europe and Africa, using a fleet of over 200 aircraft. Cathay Dragon, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cathay Pacific which focuses on providing services to destinations across Asia, including more than 20 cities in mainland China. Cathay Pacific is a founder member of the Oneworld global alliance and Cathay Dragon is an affiliate member.
Cathay Pacific currently operates 19 weekly flights between Ho Chi Minh City and Hong Kong, while Cathay Dragon operates 12 weekly flights from Hanoi and 7 weekly flights from Da Nang to Hong Kong.