Cathay Group Completes Historic Return of Long-Term Parked Aircraft

By That's GBA, June 13, 2024

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The Cathay Group has marked a significant milestone in its 77-year history with the successful return of its last aircraft from long-term overseas parking. 

On June 6, 2024, Cathay Pacific's Airbus A330, registration B-HLV, landed back in Hong Kong after nearly four years in the Australian desert, signifying the conclusion of an extraordinary chapter in the carrier's recovery journey.

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B-HLV was the first aircraft from the Cathay Group to be parked overseas on July 28, 2020, as the global air travel industry grappled with the profound impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alongside HK Express, Cathay Pacific had to park a significant portion of its fleet both at Hong Kong International Airport and overseas locations including Alice Springs, Australia, and Ciudad Real, Spain.

Chief Operations and Service Delivery Officer Alex McGowan expressed the magnitude of the achievement, stating, "Parking and reactivating such a large number of aircraft has been an unprecedented endeavor. The dedication and collaboration across our global teams, together with the steadfast support from the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department, have been instrumental in safely bringing our fleet back into service."

The reactivation process involved meticulous maintenance checks and inspections to ensure each aircraft's safety and operational readiness. 

Alex McGowan extended gratitude to all involved, emphasizing their perseverance and commitment to Cathay's core values throughout the challenging operation.

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General Manager Engineering Operations Bob Taylor detailed the rigorous protocols undertaken during the aircraft's time in Alice Springs, highlighting over 16,000 periodic checks and inspections conducted. 

He underscored the teamwork across various departments within Cathay, as well as key partners like Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company (HAECO), Boeing, Airbus, and Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage (APAS).

"As we close this remarkable chapter," Bob Taylor remarked, "our focus turns to the future. With substantial investments in new aircraft and infrastructure, including the upcoming Three-Runway System at Hong Kong International Airport, Cathay Group remains poised to capitalize on emerging opportunities in the global aviation landscape."

The return of B-HLV symbolizes not only the operational resilience of Cathay Group but also its strategic readiness to navigate the evolving challenges and opportunities in the aviation sector. 

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As the airline industry continues its path to recovery, Cathay Pacific stands prepared to chart new heights in international air travel.

For further updates and insights into Cathay Group's journey, stay connected with our latest developments via our WeChat official account, ThatsGBA.


[All images courtesy of Cathay Group]

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