Hong Kong Airlines (“HKA”)  celebrated the relaunch of its “Embrace the World” Student Sponsorship Programme for 2024/25 with a kick-off ceremony at the Hong Kong International Aviation Academy. The ceremony was officiated by Jeff Sun Jianfeng, Chairman of Hong Kong Airlines, and Mr Chapman Fong, Deputy Director of Airport Operations, Airport Authority Hong Kong (“AAHK”) and witnessed by principals and student representatives from participating schools.

This season’s “Embrace the World” Student Sponsorship Programme, a flagship corporate social responsibility initiative of HKA, marks its 10th anniversary and its first year since the programme’s revival after a five-year hiatus. In collaboration with the AAHK, the airline is distributing 1,000 tickets to reaffirm its commitment to nurturing a new generation in the aviation industry and supporting Hong Kong students in achieving their dreams of soaring high.

The destinations for this year’s student sponsorship programme are Beijing and Shanghai. Through field trips, exchanges and study tours to Mainland China, Hong Kong Airlines hopes that students will be able to experience the latest developments and gain a more complete understanding of the country, thus consolidating and deepening what they have learnt in the classroom and strengthening their sense of national identity.

Jeff Sun, Chairman of HKA stated:  “At Hong Kong Airlines, nurturing young minds is of great importance, and the ‘Embrace the World’ Sponsorship Programme provides a unique opportunity to inspire and encourage our future talents to broaden their horizons. The response to this year’s programme has been as enthusiastic as ever, with over 40 schools planning a rich array of activities for their itineraries – such as English volunteer teaching at local schools, visits to military academies, heritage conservation workshops, exchanges on science and technology, as well as participation in sports camps. We look forward to inviting them to share with us their experiences and insights gained from their journeys.”

“In the future, we will continue to allocate more resources and collaborate with schools and social welfare organisations to launch more programmes for the benefit of local youth. In addition to expanding the scope of the ticket sponsorship programme, we will also organise student visits to the Hong Kong Airlines Training Academy to experience cabin operations and safety training, to cultivate their interest in aviation, paving the way for their future careers in the industry,” added Mr Sun.

Chapman Fong, Deputy Director, Airport Operations of AAHK, said: “We are delighted to sponsor this meaningful event. Supported by the Central Government’s 14th five-year plan, HKIA is committed to leveraging its position as a leading international aviation hub to nurture talent for the aviation industry. This programme provides students with unique opportunities to not only deepen their understanding of our motherland and Chinese culture but also experience the joy of flying. It is our sincere wish that this inspiring experience will motivate the student to develop a career in the aviation industry.”

At the ceremony,Sun also shared positive news about the company’s business growth, including a more than doubling of passenger numbers year-on-year in the first quarter and an expected daily flight volume return to pre-pandemic levels by May. The overall booking rate for routes during the upcoming Golden Week period has increased by more than 1.5 times compared to last year, with destinations in Mainland China and visa-free cities in Asia being particularly popular. To meet this demand, additional flights to East China and Bangkok have been scheduled.

“Following the completion of our restructuring last April, we have regained a healthy operating track and reconnected with the world through the gradual resumption of routes and opening of new destinations. Currently, our route network covers close to 30 destinations#, and the average passenger load factor has returned to 85%. This year, we are actively expanding our fleet with the introduction of a number of new aircraft, including the A321 model, the first of which will enter service as early as May, our fleet is expected to reach 28 aircraft by the end of the year. Additionally, with the launch of several new regional routes, we will need to recruit more than 10% of our pilots and 50% of cabin crew to meet the demand for business recovery and development, and we will continue to recruit locally and globally,” concluded Sun.




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