UK grandparents lose direct link to family

 

FEW foreign travellers would be quite as upset by Cathay Pacific's departure from Cairns than English couple Linda and Keith Sims.

Their daughter fell in love with a Palm Cove boy during an adventure in Africa and wound up marrying and settling in the Far North.

Linda and Keith Sims from the United Kingdom ready to board one of the last Cathay Pacific flights direct from Cairns to Hong Kong. PICTURE: STEWART MCLEAN
Linda and Keith Sims from the United Kingdom ready to board one of the last Cathay Pacific flights direct from Cairns to Hong Kong. PICTURE: STEWART MCLEAN

The Sims now have three Australian grandchildren and have been using the Cathay Pacific route to visit Cairns at least annually for the past 13 years.

"Cathay Pacific has been absolutely cracking," Mr Sims said.

"It's so convenient for us, efficient, and quality service.

"We're just absolutely devastated it's not continuing."

The couple believed other European and British travellers might be reluctant to visit Cairns without the direct Hong Kong flight - although the Sims would always find a way for family's sake.

"We can still get here but it was just so convenient because you're not flying back over yourself," Mr Sims said.

Travelers ready to board one of the last Cathay Pacific flights direct from Cairns to Hong Kong. PICTURE: STEWART MCLEAN
Travelers ready to board one of the last Cathay Pacific flights direct from Cairns to Hong Kong. PICTURE: STEWART MCLEAN


CATHAY PACIFIC'S HISTORY IN CAIRNS

1975

Air Niugini becomes the Cairns Airport's first international service with flights to Port Moresby

1993

Cathay Pacific's first plane arrives in Cairns, welcomed by a fire-tanker guard of honour on the tarmac

The first Cathay Pacific flight in 1993. PHOTO: Cairns Airport
The first Cathay Pacific flight in 1993. PHOTO: Cairns Airport

2018

Cathay Pacific celebrates 25 years of regular service to and from Hong Kong

April 2019

The Cairns Post reveals Cathay Pacific is severing its 25-year relationship and pulling out of its Cairns-Hong Kong route

May 2019

Cathay confirms the route is dead unless the State Government coughs up an unreasonable $70,000 per flight

October 2019

The State Government announces Air Niugini will offer a six-month route to Hong Kong via Port Moresby, with Qantas also starting a weekly freight service directly to Hong Kong

Tomorrow

Cathay Pacific's last Cairns-Hong Kong flight takes off

April 2020

Air Niugini and Qantas contracts are due to expire



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