June 20, 2014

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Cathay Pacific swapped passengers for pandas recently, when more than a thousand papier-mâché pandas filled up the economy cabin in one of their aircraft.

Pandas inside CX - cabin crew 2To promote conservation and sustainable development, French artist Paulo Grangeon used recycled materials to create the 1,600 pandas, which apparently is the number of pandas left on the planet.  The pandas arrived in Hong Kong on a worldwide tour organised by PMQ for environmental conservation group WWF.

The well travelled pandas have already visited France, the Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany for some 100 exhibitions. To promote conservation and reinforce the importance of sustainable development in an imaginative setting, the public can get up close to the pandas at every stop.

During their stay in Hong Kong, the pandas will visit more than ten landmarks, including Hong Kong International Airport and Ocean Park.

Pandas inside CX - cabin crew 1Cathay Pacific’s Director Corporate Affairs, Chitty Cheung said “As Hong Kong’s airline we’re happy to be part of the pandas’ Hong Kong tour.”

The finale of “1600 Pandas World Tour in Hong Kong: Creativity Meets Conservation” will be at PMQ’s headquarters on 21 June.

It’s a shame that the pandas were travelling in Economy Class, because those passengers travelling in Cathay Pacific’s First Class cabin can now enjoy the new bespoke caviar and Krug service. The caviar is served in a specially made glass caviar soccel and with a mother of pearl spoon. Cathay Pacific also recently introduced an amuse bouche service so First Class passengers are now welcomed with bite-sized fine fare presented in a frosted sake glass, literally a tasteful start for the flight ahead.

Pandas inside CX economy cabinCathay Pacific offers First Class on flights between Hong Kong and Europe and North America including Paris, London, Frankfurt and New York.

Award winning Cathay Pacific flies 74 times a week from Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Cairns and Brisbane) direct to Hong Kong and onto more than 170 destinations around the world. Cathay Pacific and sister airline Dragonair fly over 720 flights a week to 25 destinations in China and Taiwan, including 12 daily flights toBeijing and 17 daily flights to Shanghai.

Passengers travelling on Dragonair, Cathay Pacific’s sister airline, can enjoy Xin Dau Ji’s delicious chilled pork belly with garlic that uses Kurobuta pork. Other signature Hong Kong style dishes are available from popular Xin Dau Ji restaurant, which was awarded a Michelin star in 2012 and has nine branches in Hong Kong and China. Other dishes passengers can look forward to include pan-fried minced pork and lotus root cake plus the chef-recommended deep fried fish fillet with sweet corn sauce.

The new menu will be available until mid-April 2015 to passengers in all classes on selected Dragonair flights from Hong Kong to Beijing and Shanghai plus First and Business Class to Taipei and Kaohsiung as well as Business Class to Chengdu, Hang-zhou, Kunming, Nanjing, Ningbo, Qingdao and Fukuoka.

Passengers will forget they are eating on a plane.

Sandra Tiltman  



June 20, 2014


Tegan Martin, an entrant from New South Wales, was crowned Miss Universe Australia at the 2014 Australian National Final, in a glittering ceremony held at Melbourne’s Sofitel Hotel recently.

Tegan Martin wearing her crown

Tegan Martin wearing her crown

The elegant black tie dinner began with guests mingling over cocktails, before entering the Ballroom, which had been specially decorated for the evening.

Finalists from every state in Australia lined up for the first parade in front of the judging panel, which included some famous faces such as Gina Liano, barrister and star of Real Housewives of Melbourne. The swimwear parade was followed by the first round of eliminations

The spectacular evening wear parade was a highlight of this glamorous event, before the next round of eliminations occurred.   The five finalists remaining participated in the personality question & answer section, which culminated in the crowning of the winner.

Tegan will represent Australia at Donald Trump’s international Miss Universe Pageant, to be held later in the year.

Sandra Tiltman

Photos: John Pond    

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June 20, 2014

Marc von Arnim General Manager Park Hyatt SydneyPark Hyatt Sydney, the luxury harbourside hotel, has welcomed Marc von Armin as their new General Manager, who will oversee operations at the award winning 155 room hotel. Mr von Arnim takes over from Andrew Mensforth, who is transferring to the Americas as Regional Vice-President, Operations – Latin America and the Caribbean.

Mr von Arnim is an Australian, whose career with Hyatt spans 22 years. He first joined Hyatt Regency Coolum in 1992 while earning a degree in Hotel Management. After graduating, he joined Grand Hyatt Melbourne as a Corporate Leadership Trainee and has held various positions at Hyatt Regency Perth, Park Hyatt Melbourne and Park Hyatt Sydney before being appointed General Manager of Hyatt Regency Auckland in 2008.

After his appointment as General Manager of Park Hyatt Goa, he became pre-opening General Manager of Park Hyatt Busan, where he oversaw the successful opening in February 2013. Under his leadership, Park Hyatt Busan is now established as the leading hotel in the city.

Mr von Arnim said “I’m very excited and honoured to be returning to Park Hyatt Sydney as General Manager. I look forward to working with a passionate team of associates and continuing to deliver exceptional and caring service to our guests. The hotel underwent a major renovation program and when reopened in February 2012, it quickly re-established itself as Sydney’s premier luxury hotel. I am very grateful and excited to be part of the Park Hyatt Sydney team and hope all visitors will appreciate our authentic hospitality, spectacular location and superb design.”

Sandra Tiltman