Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love was number one in the Australian charts; a building block at Greenwood, north of Perth cost $5250; a Datsun 1000 station wagon cost $1895 and Cathay Pacific Airways began flying from Perth twice a week to Hong Kong.
Described as “(Perth’s) first direct link with Cathay Pacific’s own world of glamour cities”, the Convair 880 carried just 96 passengers from Perth all the way to Tokyo via Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong in 10 hours and 15 minutes and cost around $585 for a return Economy airfare (roughly eight times the average weekly salary in 1970).
Since that time, Cathay Pacific has offered a continuous service over the past 45 years to Perth – longer than any other Australian city – and flown more than five million passengers. Today the airline offers 10 direct non-stop services per week from Perth to Hong Kong on an Airbus A330 aircraft in less than eight hours.
“Things have certainly changed for the flying public and Cathay Pacific in Perth over the past 45 years,” said Nelson Chin, Cathay Pacific’s General Manager Southwest Pacific.
“Today, the Airbus A330 carries 251 passengers in a choice of three classes – Business, Premium Economy and Economy – and convenient schedules from Perth to Hong Kong giving West Australians easy connections onto 22 cities in China, most Asian countries, USA and more than 75 flights a week to Europe and UK.
“North America is also very popular with travellers from West Australia with frequent flights to cities including New York, Vancouver, Chicago, LA, San Francisco, and now Boston,” he added.
Since 1970, the airline has also carried a huge amount of freight from West Australia to the rest of the world – more than 150,000 tonnes of fresh produce, seafood, native flowers and many shipments supporting mining development. Over this time, Cathay Pacific has seen an incredible rise in demand for shipping live seafood as the State’s reputation for lobsters, especially in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong has grown.
Back then, there were only two choices of cabins – First and Economy – Business Class and Premium Economy had not yet been invented, let alone inflight entertainment systems. In fact in 1970, dining formed a large part of the inflight entertainment and the Economy Class menu between Perth and Jakarta included items like “cornet of ham with asparagus” followed by a choice of roast lamb or duck à l’orange with boiled potatoes and green peas following by apple tart, cheese and crackers and seasonal fruit. This was perfectly matched with a choice of Martini, Manhattan or Bloody Mary among the cocktails, as well as Campari, sherry or vermouth, other spirits, beers, and white or red burgundy, and a sparkling wine.
Now economy passengers from Perth are offered a choice of Asian and European dishes, with light salad starters, a main course, dessert and, of course, a post-dinner ice cream. Breakfast may include freshly baked croissants, fruit, and yoghurt as well as hot options like traditional scrambled eggs and sausage or a Hong Kong favourite – congee. Cathay Pacific’s larder is stocked with snacks, including noodle soups – just ask the friendly cabin staff.
Cathay Pacific’s current schedule is:
|Perth – Hong Kong||CX170||2355/0745+1||Daily|
|Perth – Hong Kong||CX136||0710/1510||Sunday, Monday and Friday|
|CABINS||Economy||Premium Economy||Business Class|
|More space||«2-4-2 configuration (A330-200)||«38 inch seat pitch||«Fully flat bed, 82 inches|
|More entertainment||«Over 100 movies on 9-inch personal TV||«Over 100 movies on 10.6-inch personal TV||«Over 100 movies on 15.4-inch TV|
|More features||«USB port & 10V AC power supply to charge your mobile and other electronic devices||«Priority check-in and extra baggage||«Adjustable seat settings for private or open cabin space|
|More comfort||« 6inch seat recline & convenient storage space||«Larger pillows, noise-cancelling headset and amenity kit||« Duvet, blankets, pillows and cushions|
|More dining||«Gallery snacks from noodle soup and sandwiches to cookies||«Welcome juice and champagne and more meal selections||«Welcome juice and champagne and freshly prepared Asian and Western dishes|