Cathay Pacific Apologizes for ‘Misspelled Plane’ Logo

NTD Newsroom
By NTD Newsroom
September 20, 2018Business News

One wouldn’t think “Cathay Pacific” would be particularly hard to spell—and one would think the company, at least, would know its own name.

However, one of Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific’s Boeing 777-367s showed up at Hong Kong International Airport bearing the logo “Cathay Paciic” in large letters along the side of the plane, CNN reported.

That’s right—somebody left the “F” off.

Cathay Pacific posted a photograph of the misspelled logo on its Twitter page, with the comment, “Oops this special livery won’t last long! She’s going back to the shop!”   

The photo soon went viral.

Some people wonder how such a monumental spelling mishap could have been made. After all, the letters are painted on the planes using stencils. If there was a bad stencil, many planes should have shown the error.

The plane had flown into Hong Kong early on Sept. 19 from a maintenance depot in Xiamen, China, the Guardian reported. That maintenance facility is run by Haeco, a Cathay Pacific subsidiary. Haeco is responsible for keeping the planes flying and for painting the logos.

That particular plane had been in the Cathay Pacific fleet since 2004, according to the Guardian. The paint must have been changed recently—probably at that maintenance stop—or else someone would have noticed already.

That Was an Error? Really?

Some people seem to think the whole “missing letter” was just a publicity scheme—a way to get everybody talking about Cathay Pacific without the company having to spend a lot of money.

An engineer for Haeco, a Cathay Pacific subsidiary, told the South China Morning Post: “The spacing is too on-point for a mishap.

“We have stencils. Should be a blank gap in between letters if it was a real mistake I think.”

Was the file for the stencil mistyped? Did no one notice the typo through the entire process of enlarging, printing, and painting?

The error, if it was an error, could cost several thousand dollars to fix, The Morning Post said.

No one seemed to know if Cathay Pacific would be absorbing the cost, or holding Haeco responsible.

A spokesperson for Cathay Pacific told CNN Travel: “We did not intend to make it a big fuss in the first place, but photos went viral within the aviation enthusiastic groups, so we just shared the hilarious moment with everyone.”

Twitter loved the misspelled logo—it gave other users a chance to make poke fun.

One poster took things a little more—maybe a little too—seriously.

Mike Cooper posted, “I’m not sure why this is not funny to me. I fly Cathay and to me this just shows a breakdown in quality—no humor (and I’m a funny guy).

“Not something I think should be so blatantly and proudly publicized on a brand I spend money to support. How much did this ‘mistake’ cost?”

Of course… if this were a calculated “mistake” and the company calculated the cost of painting on logo versus the cost of a multimedia ad campaign…

The company might not be able to spell its own name, but apparently, executives at Cathay Pacific can spell “Cheap publicity.”

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