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Sweet-smelling Cathay orders fragrant new planes

August 25, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Cathay Pacific has launched a new scent, Parfums de Voyage, and has ordered a lot more planes, though the two are not necessarily connected and it may take a bit more to have the airline smelling like a rose.

Cathay announced yesterday it was set to launch “Australia’s first travel-inspired perfume” which is “scientifically crafted to ignite passengers’ travel memories”.

At about the same time, reports arrived that the Hong Kong-based carrier had signed a memorandum of understanding to buy 32 Airbus A321neo aircraft in a deal worth USD 4.06 billion at list prices.

The A321s will be operated by regional unit Cathay Dragon, and will partially replace a mix of older A320s and A321, Reuters reported.

Back to perfume, Cathay Pacific’s new Parfums de Voyage scent has been developed following research that reveals (according to the airline) that most Australians (97%) are missing out on their holiday because of the amount of time spent behind the camera.

The study found that despite Aussies taking 236 photos a week while travelling, many come home disappointed with their “happy-snaps” and almost three quarters (72%) wish they had more ways to remember travel experiences.

As science suggests scent is much more powerful at evoking strong travel memories than sight and photos, Cathay has taken that route, hence the perfume.

A media release states: “Cathay Pacific’s Parfums de Voyage has been crafted in collaboration with a renowned perfume expert, Samantha Taylor of The Powder Room. Taylor developed the fragrance to remind passengers of their travels to Hong Kong, using scents that invoke memories of the Harbour City.”

She says the fragrance “has a fresh, clean top note inspired by the greenery of the island, drying down to a warm, peppery base note that’s evocative of exotic spices and smoky incense”.

Dr Oliver Baumann, researcher at Queensland Brain Institute, told Cathay Pacific: “Not only is smell our oldest sense, it also has a direct link to the hippocampus – the main memory centre of the brain. Scent can therefore bring back memories much faster and stronger than any of our other senses.”

Meanwhile, Cathay is also pursuing an agreeable angle on the aircraft purchase side.

“The intention to purchase these 32 environmentally-friendly aircraft will allow us to add new destinations to Cathay Dragon’s network, increase frequency on some of our most popular routes and expand our network in the region in order to provide more travel choices and convenience to our customers,” Cathay Pacific’s chief executive Rupert Hogg said.

A few weeks ago, Hogg admitted that Cathay Pacific’s operating environment remained challenging in the first half of the year and the performance of Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon “continued to be disappointing”.

Hogg was speaking after the airline said it was cutting back staff after its first annual loss in eight years.

When Cathay turns around and soars back into profit, investors will no doubt consider it smells as sweet as a rose.

Written by Peter Needham

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