The exceptional partnership between Airbus and Cathay Pacific Airways was marked by a unique concert in Toulouse, France this week that celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region – and coincided with Cathay Pacific’s latest announcement for Airbus jetliners.
Yesterday’s concert of Hong Kong’s Asian Youth Orchestra (AYO) was hosted by Airbus in partnership with Cathay Pacific and the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office.
As one of the world’s most respected pre-professional orchestras, AYO provides a platform for young classical musicians from around Asia to highlight their talents and perform in the international arena. Since its formation 27 years ago, many of AYO’s alumni have gone on to join some of the greatest orchestras in Asia, the Pacific, Europe and the United States.
More than 100 young musicians perform at the Airbus University
The orchestra’s Toulouse performance, comprising over 100 young musicians and held at the Airbus University, was attended by an audience that included personnel from Cathay Pacific – led by the airline’s CEO, Rupert Hogg – officials from the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, local Toulouse dignitaries and Airbus employees.
“Cathay Pacific has long been a great supporter of AYO, and when the airline asked if we could host this special concert during the European leg of its tour, we were most happy to support the request,” said Rainer Ohler, the Head of Communications at Airbus. “In addition to commemorating the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s anniversary, it really was a celebration of the excellent partnership between Airbus and Cathay Pacific.”
Conducted by AYO’s founder, Richard Pontzious, the orchestra gave a stirring 90-minute performance of Richard Strauss’ Don Juan, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 and the William Tell Overture by Rossini. Organising the event took several months of coordination with AYO and Cathay Pacific, and involved setting up the Airbus Events Centre as a venue suitable to host a classical concert.
Cathay Pacific Group’s fleet of Airbus jetliners continues to expand
The 21 August concert capped a noteworthy day in the relationship of Airbus with Cathay Pacific, which also saw the airline sign a memorandum of understanding for the purchase of 32 A321neo jetliners, to be used by its Cathay Dragon regional operation.
The Cathay Pacific Group has been flying Airbus aircraft since the early 1990s, with more than 100 Airbus aircraft in service today. It currently has 23 A320 Family aircraft, 61 A330-300s (the Asia-Pacific region’s largest A330 fleet), along with 17 A350-900s.
In addition to the additional 32 A321neos covered by the newly-signed memorandum of understanding, the airline has 31 A350 XWBs on order for future deliveries, composed of five more A350-900 versions and 26 of the longer-fuselage A350-1000s.