Published on : Saturday, January 18, 2014
Soon after the storm, the Group launched an inflight appeal together with a staff appeal to raise funds to help the ongoing relief effort. The company pledged that it would match, dollar-for-dollar, all staff donations. In total, HK$5 million in cash was raised through the company’s appeal. Some HK$1.4 million of this came from passenger donations, collected through the Change for Good inflight fundraising programme between 19 and 30 November, which will be used to support the typhoon relief work of the Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF. The HK$3.6 million contributed through staff donations and company matching will be donated to the Hong Kong Red Cross and other Red Cross Societies overseas.
In addition to the cash donation, Group staff contributed more than 600 hours of their own time to run donation booths at Cathay Pacific’s headquarters in Hong Kong. The Group also donated more than 9,000 inflight sleep suits and blankets, offered more than 500kg of free excess baggage allowance and around 20,000kg of free freight shipments to relief organisations, with a total value of around HK$1.2 million. The sleep suits and blankets were donated to the Philippine National Red Cross Society for distribution in the affected areas.
Cathay Pacific’s Director Corporate Affairs Chitty Cheung said: “We were all deeply moved by the plight of the people of the Philippines following this latest natural catastrophe. Thanks to the generosity of our staff and passengers, we are pleased to be able to make this contribution to the Hong Kong Red Cross and UNICEF HK that will help these organisations in their great effort to get the people of the Philippines back on their feet.”
Hong Kong Red Cross Secretary General KM Chan said: “The Hong Kong Red Cross has allocated funds for the distribution of relief items and provision of medical services in the Philippines. We sincerely thank the Cathay Pacific Group and its staff for their generosity in support of this appeal. All donations collected for the Typhoon Haiyan operation will be used to support our relief, recovery and disaster preparedness works in the affected areas.”
Over the years, the Cathay Pacific Group has responded quickly to help those affected by major natural disasters, launching appeals to raise money from staff and passengers, boosting the funds raised through dollar-for-dollar matching, and providing help for the shipment of relief materials to alleviate the suffering caused. The airline launched appeals following the Asian tsunami in 2005, the Sichuan earthquakes in 2008 in 2013, the Japan earthquake and tsunami in 2011 and the Thailand floods in the same year.