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History and milestones

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In July 1985, a Boeing 737-200A aircraft took off from Hong Kong International Airport – then located at Kai Tak on the Kowloon peninsula – to Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia. That flight marked the start of a new chapter in Hong Kong aviation, as it was the first commercial flight of Hong Kong Dragon Airlines, an entity that was to grow into Hong Kong’s international carrier known as Dragonair.

Starting with one aircraft, Dragonair now develops to an award-winning Hong Kong-based carrier owning more than thirty aircraft, and with a network covering the most popular travel destinations as well as business ports in Asia Pacific region. Dragonair is well-recognised by its passengers of its extensive network in China. Given the flourishing economy in Mainland cities and aviation hub synergy of Hong Kong, Dragonair plays an increasingly important role in connecting passengers around the globe and the Mainland China.

Dragonair is also the first local airline making investment in local pilot training. In late 1980s, the first generation pilot students joined the pilot training scheme and became the first batch locally born Chinese pilots. To date, over seventy cadets have successfully completed the scheme.

Dragonair is a member of Cathay Pacific Group, affiliate member of oneworld® and partner of Asia Miles. There is much more to a successful airline than planes and destinations, however, and it is here that Dragonair has really made its mark – through people who, day after day, contribute their passion, vision and hard work to building and maintaining Dragonair’s reputation for reliability, friendliness, innovation and dynamism.

To find out more about Dragonair, please see our milestones:-

Year 2013

2013

  • On 8 January, Dragonair launched scheduled service to Zhengzhou.
  • On 9 January, Dragonair launched scheduled service to Yangon.
  • On 25 January, Dragonair launched scheduled service to Wenzhou.
  • On 28 March, Dragonair launched scheduled service to Da Nang and rolled out new uniforms to more than 3,000 customer-facing staff across the network.
  • In June, Dragonair was voted the “World’s Best Regional Airline” and “Best Regional Airline Asia” in the World Airline Survey 2013, which was conducted by Skytrax of the United Kingdom.

Year 2012

2012

  • On 1 April, Dragonair resumed service to Xi’an.
  • On 1 May, Dragonair launched scheduled service to Jeju and resumed scheduled daily service to Guilin.
  • On 14 May, Dragonair resumed service to Taichung.
  • On 29 May, Dragonair launched daily scheduled service to Clark, The Philippines.
  • On 1 July, Dragonair launched seasonal service to Chiang Mai, Thailand.
  • In August, Dragonair’s Chiang Mai service was upgraded to year-round scheduled service from seasonal service.
  • On 28 October, Dragonair resumed the daily service to Haikou, Hainan.
  • On 2 November , Dragonair launched scheduled service to Kolkata, India.

Year 2011

2011

  • In April, Dragonair was honoured the “Air Cargo Excellence Award 2011” in the category of “Up to 199,999 tonnes” carriers. The Award was given by “Air Cargo World” Magazine based on the result of 7th Annual Air Cargo Excellence Survey.
  • In June, Dragonair was voted the “World’s Best Regional Airline” and “Best Regional Airline Asia” in the World Airline Survey 2011, which was conducted by Skytrax of the United Kingdom.
  • In July, Dragonair won “Yahoo! Emotive Brand Award” of airline category in 9th Yahoo! Emotive Brand Awards 2010 – 2011.
  • In October, Dragonair won the “Best Regional Airline” award in the 22nd Annual TTG Travel Awards and was honoured the title of “2011 Asia Excellence Brand” by news and current affairs magazine Yazhou Zhoukan.

Year 2010

2010

  • On September 15, Dragonair resumed daily service to Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport.
  • On April 24, Dragonair launched Dragonair Aviation Certificate Programme 2010, which marked the fifth anniversary of the programme.
  • In May, Dragonair has been voted "World’s Best Regional Airline" for the first time in the Skytrax international passenger survey.
  • On June 10, Dragonair unveiled the special livery to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

Year 2009

2009

  • On April 3, Dragonair launched Dragonair Aviation Certificate Programme 2009.
  • On April 28, Dragonair launched “Manage My Booking”, the new online service enabling passengers to manage their own travel itineraries by retrieving the most up-to-date flight status and enabling personal information to be amended or updated online.
  • On May 13, Dragonair further extended its cross-border upstream check-in service by allowing passengers to check in and have the boarding pass issued at Shenzhen downtown.
  • In July, Dragonair and sister airline Cathay Pacific Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report has achieved an A+ rating in the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines.
  • In September, Dragonair offers “KA Mobile” application to users of different smart phone platforms.
  • On September 7, Dragonair’s frequent flyer visitors, who are eligible members of its Marco Polo Club,can pass more quickly through immigration using the Frequent Visitor e-Channels at Hong Kong International Airport.
  • On September 14, Dragonair launches twice-daily passenger service to Guangzhou, enhancing connectivity via Hong Kong to the rest of the world.
  • On October 1, Dragonair increases passenger flights to Kathmandu from 3 to 5 per week. The flight will be operated using an A330 aircraft which offers greater capacity for both passengers and cargo.
  • On October 25, Dragonair moves its counter operations at Hong Kong International Airport to Aisle H in the Departure Hall of Terminal 1.
  • On December 14, Dragonair introduces enhanced features on the “Manage My Booking” facility, offering passengers a more comprehensive online travel tool to take control of their journey. Additional features include advanced seat reservation, special meal request, etc.

Year 2008

2008
  • On 4 January, Dragonair took delivery of the fourth of five new 747-400 Boeing Converted Freighters.
  • On January 10, Dragonair is voted 'Best Asian Airline' in the Hurun Report 2007 Best of the Best Survey.
  • On March 26, Dragonair moved its operation to the new Terminal 3 at Beijing Capital International Airport, with the opening of a brand new lounge, the Dragonair and Cathay Pacific Lounge.
  • On April 3, Dragonair launched Dragonair Aviation Certificate Programme 2008.
  • On April 29, Dragonair moved its operation to the new Terminal 2 at Shanghai Pudong International Airport, with the opening of a brand new lounge, the Dragonair and Cathay Pacific Lounge.
  • On May 13, Dragonair cabin crew training Induction Class A100 graduated.
  • On June 1, Dragonair became a 100% e-ticket airline.
  • On June 2, Dragonair relaunched its freighter services between Hong Kong and Xiamen with a twice-weekly operation.
  • On June 18, Dragonair moved its counter operations at Hong Kong International Airport to Aisle D in the Departure Hall of Terminal 1.
  • On July 1, Dragonair launched a daily passenger service to Bengaluru (Bangalore), marking the first time for Dragonair to operate passenger flights to India.
  • On July 4, Dragonair and its sister airline Cathay Pacific Airways launch a joint Mainland China reservation hotline.
  • On July 4, Dragonair’s Xiamen freighter service was increased to thricely-weekly.
  • On July 21, Dragonair increased passenger flights to Ningbo from seven to 10 per week.
  • In July, Dragonair had been voted a winner in the Airline Category in the Yahoo!Emotive Brand Award 2007-2008 for the third consecutive year.
  • On August 1, Dragonair Lounge at Hong Kong International Airport has been given a facelift and has been renamed the "G16 Lounge".
  • In August, Dragonair has been voted "Best Regional Airline: SE Asia" for the first time in the Skytrax international passenger survey.
  • On September 1, Dragonair increased passenger flights to Xiamen from 14 to 18 per week.
  • On October 1, Dragonair and its sister airline Cathay Pacific Airways opened the first airline-branded arrival lounge, “The Arrival”, at Hong Kong International Airport.
  • On October 26, Dragonair launched a daily passenger service to Hanoi, marking the first time for Dragonair to operate scheduled passenger flights to Vietnam.
  • On November 3, Dragonair launched Self-Print Boarding Pass service at Hong Kong International Airport offering greater convenience to travellers.
  • On November 18, Dragonair launched the new mobile site - m.dragonair.com – for passengers to access through their mobile devices.
  • On December 1, Dragonair extended its cross-border upstream check-in service by providing a new service which allows passengers to check in and have the boarding pass issued at Shenzhen International Airport.
  • On December 15, Dragonair launched a fifth-weekly passenger service to Manila, marking the first time for the airline to operate scheduled passenger flights to the Philippines.
  • On December 18, Dragonair launched mobile check-in service for passengers to check in through the mobile site - m.dragonair.com.
  • In December, donations to Dragonair’s Change for Conservation inflight charity programme surpassed HK$7 million.

Year 2007

2007
  • On 19 January, Dragonair launched a thrice-weekly passenger service to Busan.
  • In January, Dragonair announced it flew a record number of passengers and carried a record amount of freight in 2006. The number of passengers totaled 5,568,508, while total cargo volume was 395,384 tonnes.
  • On 31 January, Dragonair took delivery of the second of five new 747-400 Boeing Converted Freighters.
  • On 9 March, Dragonair was named the recipient of the Silver award in the Food or Beverage category of the 2006 Mercury Award, bestowed by the International Travel Catering Association.
  • On June 22, Dragonair launched Dragonair Aviation Certificate Programme 2007.
  • In June, Three of Dragonair's Airbus A330 aircraft featured the official logo to mark the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
  • In June, Dragonair was appointed as the Official Carrier for the "Pride of China: Masterpieces of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy of the Jin, Tang, Song and Yuan Dynasties from the Palace Museum" exhibition, taking up the role of transporting world-acclaimed masterpieces of Chinese art from Beijing to Hong Kong.
  • In July 1, Dragonair's Busan service becomes daily.
  • In July, Dragonair was voted Best Airline - China for sixth consecutive year in the international Skytrax passenger survey.
  • In July, Dragonair was named a winner in the Yahoo!Emotive Brand Award 2006-2007 airline category for second consecutive year and the Top 7 Emotive Brand Award for the first time.
  • On August 1, Dragonair launched daily passenger services to Chongqing and Xian, while services to Fuzhou were double to 14 a week.
  • On 28 October, Dragonair launched a daily service to Fukuoka and three-times weekly flights to Sendai.
  • On 28 October, Dragonair launched charter services to Taichung.
  • In October, donations to Dragonair's Change for Conservation inflight charity programme surpassed HK$6 million, with the funds being used to benefit projects by The Nature Conservancy in China' s Yunnan province.
  • On November 1, Dragonair became the affiliate member of oneworldR, the leading quality global airline alliance.
  • On December 2, Dragonair launched a fourth-weekly service to Kathmandu.
  • On December 6, Dragonair was voted 'Top Airline for Potential Value' at the 2007 World Traveller Awards.
  • On December 14, Dragonair is voted 'Best Airline (China)' in the TravelWeeklyChina 2007 Industry Awards.

Year 2006

2006
  • In January, Dragonair announced it flew a record number of passengers and carried a record amount of freight in 2005. The number of passengers totalled 5,029,285, the first time the airline had flown more than five million travellers in one year, while total cargo volume was 385,338 tonnes.
  • In February, donations to Dragonair's Change for Conservation inflight charity programme surpassed HK$4 million, with the funds being used to benefit projects by The Nature Conservancy in China's Yunnan province.
  • On 5 February, Dragonair set a daily record, flying 20,892 passengers.
  • On 7 March, Dragonair launched Dragonair VISA, the first credit card to bear the airline's name.
  • On 30 March, Dragonair launched a thrice-weekly direct passenger service to Shenyang via Dalian.
  • On 21 April, Dragonair took delivery of its 15th Airbus A330.
  • On 28 April, Dragonair wet-leased an A330 to Air China, brining the total number of Dragonair aircraft wet-leased to Air China to four - three A330s and one A320.
  • In April, Dragonair flew a record number of passengers for one month of 481,327.
  • On 12 May, the second phase of the Dragonair Aviation Certificate Programme, comprising a mentorship scheme, began.
  • On 16 May, Dragonair was named the winner in the Yahoo! Emotive Brand Award 2005-2006 airline category.
  • In June, Dragonair was voted Best Airline - China for a fifth consecutive year in the international Skytrax passenger survey.
  • On 8 July, a door-cutting ceremony was held to mark an important stage in the conversion of the first of five new Dragonair freighter aircraft in Xiamen. The aircraft, a Boeing 747-400, should enter service in November.
  • In July, a record 519,449 passengers flew with Dragonair, the first time in the airline's history it had flown more than half a million customers in one month.
  • In August, Dragonair was approved as a Type Rating Training Organisation by the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department.
  • On 14 September, Dragonair was voted Best China Airline in 2006 Business Traveller Asia-Pacific Awards for a second consecutive year.
  • On 28 September, Dragonair became a wholly owned subsidiary of Cathay Pacific Airways.
  • On 25 October, Dragonair took delivery of its 16th Airbus A330.
  • On 26 October, Dragonair took delivery of the first of five new 747-400 Boeing Converted Freighters.
  • On 15 November, Dragonair was voted Best Airline Economy Class in 2006 Business Traveller China Travel Awards for a second consecutive year.
  • On 15 December, Dragonair launched a daily passenger service to Phuket.

Year 2005

2005
  • On 18 March, Dragonair took delivery of its 11th Airbus A330, taking the number of aircraft in its passenger fleet to 27.
  • On 2 April, Dragonair launched a thrice-weekly freighter service to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.
  • On 29 April, Dragonair took delivery of its 11th Airbus A320.
  • On 5 May, Dragonair took delivery of its 12th Airbus A330, which features a special livery to celebrate the airline's 20th anniversary.
  • On 2 June, Dragonair was voted Best Airline - China for a fourth consecutive year in the Skytrax passenger survey. The survey measured more than 35 different aspects of passenger satisfaction and the final total of eligible survey nominations was 12.3 million.
  • On 9 July, Dragonair launched a weekly charter service to Urumqi. The service operated until October 8.
  • In September, Dragonair's loyalty club, The Elite, welcomed its 100,000th Member.
  • On 1 September, Dragonair wet-leased one A330 and one A320 aircraft to Air China.
  • On 9 September, Dragonair was voted Best China Airline in the Business Traveller Asia-Pacific 2005 Annual Awards.
  • On 9 November, Dragonair was named the recipient of the Whittle Safety Award 2005, bestowed by the International Federation of Airworthiness.
  • On 17 November, Dragonair's Economy Class was voted the best of any airline in the inaugural Business Traveller China Awards.
  • On 5 December, Dragonair was named Cargo Airline of the Year in the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation's Awards for Excellence 2005.

Year 2004

2004
  • On 16 February, Dragonair started to operate codeshare services with Air China for flights between Hong Kong, Chengdu, Chongqing, Dalian and Tianjin.
  • On 19 March, Dragonair took delivery of its 10th A330.
  • On 2 April, Dragonair launched seven passenger flights a week to Tokyo.
  • On 13 April, Dragonair was voted Best Airline - China for the third consecutive year in the Skytrax passenger survey.
  • On 6 May, Dragonair announced its all-cargo fleet would more than double in size to nine freighters by the end of 2008, following the purchase of five Boeing 747-400 aircraft.
  • On 18 June, Dragonair started freighter services to Nanjing as a result of the wet-lease of an A300B4 freighter from US-based Express.Net Airlines, LLC.
  • In June, Dragonair took delivery of a Boeing 747-200, which became the fourth purchased freighter in the airline's five-strong freighter fleet.
  • In July, Dragonair took delivery of its ninth and 10th Airbus A320s, which increased its passenger fleet to 26.
  • On 29 July, Dragonair launched freighter services to Frankfurt in Germany and London Stansted.

Year 2003

2003
  • On 20 January, Dragonair unveiled the most comprehensive re-design of its cabin interiors ever, with lie-flat seats and personal video monitors introduced by the airline for the first time.
  • On 26 September, Dragonair took delivery of its fifth A321.
  • On 24 October, Dragonair took delivery of its sixth A321.
  • On 1 November, Dragonair launched twice-daily services to Bangkok.
  • On 1 December, Dragonair launched codeshare flights with China Southern Airlines between Hong Kong and Guangzhou.

Year 2002

2002
  • Dragonair's first all-cargo service began operating to Xiamen, China.
  • Dragonair launched passenger and freighter services to Taipei in July.
  • Dragonair's third purchased freighter, a Boeing 747-300 joined the airline's cargo fleet in November.

Year 2001

2001
  • On 12 February, enrollment opened for membership of The Elite loyalty club. Members enjoy a whole range of benefits and services.
  • In May, freighter services were launched to Osaka, Japan.
  • In June, Dragonair joined the JAL Mileage Bank programme.
  • Dragonair's two purchased Boeing 747-300 freighters joined the wet-leased Boeing 747-200 in the airline's cargo fleet.
  • In September, Dragonair resumed a twice-weekly service to Ningbo, China.

Year 2000

2000
  • In March, all Dragonair's regular flights converted to scheduled services.
  • On 26 June, Dragonair moved into its purpose-built headquarters, Dragonair House, at Chek Lap Kok. The building, designed to meet the airline's future expansion, features a fully-equipped Flight Training Centre. It was officially opened by the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR, Tung Chee Hwa, on 14 December.
  • On 28 July, Dragonair's first all-cargo service began operations with the inaugural flight of a Boeing 747-200 freighter bound for the Middle East and Europe.
  • Dragonair launched "The Elite", a loyalty programme designed to recognise and reward its most frequent passengers.

Year 1999

1999
  • In May, a Dragonair flight from Shanghai became the first scheduled flight to touch down on the new second runway at Hong Kong International Airport.
  • In September, Dragonair officially joined Asia Miles, the region's leading frequent flyer programme.

Year 1998

1998
  • In July, a Dragonair flight became the last scheduled service to land at Hong Kong's Kai Tak airport.
  • Dragonair's premiere passenger lounge at new Hong Kong International Airport opened.

Year 1997

1997
  • Dragonair established its own cargo sales department which replaced Cathay Pacific as general sales agents for the airline's cargo services.

Year 1996

1996
  • China National Aviation Corporation (Group) Ltd. (CNAC Group) purchased a 35.86% interest in Dragonair to become the largest shareholder. CITIC Pacific retained 28.50%, Swire/Cathay Pacific 25.50% and the Chao Family 5.02%.
  • Dragonair and Dah Chong Hong established a joint venture to provide repair and maintenance services on ground support equipment at Chek Lap Kok.

Year 1995

1995
  • The first purchased A330 wide-body aircraft joined the Dragonair fleet in July.
  • Hong Kong Airport Services Ltd. (HAS), a joint venture company between Dragonair and Cathay Pacific, was set up to take responsibility for all matters relating to ramp handling services.

Year 1994

1994
  • In January, Dragonair acquired the remaining 70% in IAS, now known as HIAS (Hong Kong International Airport Services Ltd.).

Year 1993

1993
  • The first A320 aircraft joined the Dragonair fleet in March, and the sixth joined in December.

Year 1992

1992
  • Dragonair acquired a 30% share of International Aviation Services Co. (IAS), the third largest ground handling company in Hong Kong.

Year 1991

1991
  • Dragonair linked with Cathay Pacific's CUPID reservation system and CUBIC cargo reservation system.
  • Dragonair acquired a 40% stake in the flight kitchen operated by LSG Lufthansa.

Year 1990

1990
  • CITIC Pacific, the Swire Group and Cathay Pacific purchased an 89% stake in Dragonair.
  • Dragonair signed a participation agreement with ABACUS, a major travel agency distribution system in Asia, greatly enhancing the airline's access to the region.

Year 1989

1989
  • Chao Family acquired Sir Y. K. Pao's equity stake in the airline.

Year 1987

1987
  • Dragonair became the first Hong Kong-based airline to be admitted as an active member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Year 1986

1986
  • Flights began to Phuket, Thailand, and a network began to take shape with six cities in China being served on a regular charter basis.

Year 1985

1985
  • In May, Hong Kong Dragon Airlines was established as a wholly owned subsidiary of Hong Kong Macau International Investment Co. on the initiative of Mr. K.P. Chao, the airline's present honorary chairman. The airline has one aircraft, a Boeing 737-200A.
  • In July, Air Operators Certificate (AOC) was issued to Dragonair by the Hong Kong Government. The airline's first flight departed Hong Kong for Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.