Hong Kong breaking into the international league: Cathay Pacific's extension to long-haul routes, 1970s–1980s

This article studies the process by which British politicians and corporate executives, in both Hong Kong and London, handled the colony's elevating economic status and negotiated its flagship carrier's penetration of international aviation networks. Through Cathay Pacific's extending reach, Hong Kong translated its economic success into an expanded presence in the world of commercial aviation. As the colonial government channeled Hong Kong's burgeoning financial prowess to fund an infrastructure upgrade, the colony's budding airline capitalized on the commercial availability of jumbo jets to leapfrog into the long-haul market. Such groundwork primed Hong Kong to take advantage of the opening skies as deregulation transformed the airline industry. As the colony's economy flourished, Cathay Pacific broke free from its regional configuration and arrived at faraway ports in Australia, North America, and Europe. The Hong Kong carrier's extended reach was but the material manifestation of the city's economic takeoff and growth into a global metropolis.