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Cathay Pacific-what Does This Name Stand For?  
User currently offlineAtcboy73 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1100 posts, RR: 2
Posted (13 years 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 5183 times:

OK, I know what the Pacific ocean is and I understand that Cathay Pacific is an airline based in Hong Kong, flying all over the Pacific.

But I am wondering, what does "Cathay" mean. Is this just a name. When I look it up in an online dictionary it says, just that it is an old Chinese name.

My friend says I shouldn't ask this on the forum. He says all you guys will laugh and make fun of me. Please prove him wrong.

14 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineAtcboy73 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1100 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (13 years 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 5180 times:

Of course, he doesnt know what it means either.  Smile

User currently offlineAF Cabin Crew From French Polynesia, joined Sep 1999, 1041 posts, RR: 32
Reply 2, posted (13 years 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 5151 times:


From a website, http://www.boxoff.com/dec98asia3.html, it says it means Chinese !


hope it helps,

Happy Flying,

AF Cabin Crew.

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Ia Maitai to tatou tere !
User currently offlineBlink182 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 5493 posts, RR: 14
Reply 3, posted (13 years 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 5141 times:

I believe "Cathay" is the ancient name for "China". "Cathay Pacific" pretty much means "China Pacific."


Give me a break, I created this username when I was a kid...
User currently offlinePacificflyer From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 382 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (13 years 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 5137 times:

yes, if you look at an old (and when I said old, i mean ancient! Marco Polo time or somewhere rather) map of the world , where china should be it will say Cathay instead.

User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1811 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (13 years 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 5026 times:

Interesting that this question came just after my Business Chinese lesson.

Yes, Cathay means China. In ancient times, before Marco Polo even went ot China, the Eastern Europeans and parts of Europe refer to China as Cathay. In fact, some Eastern Europeans still call China Cathay to this day.

There's always a better way to fly...
User currently offlineKaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12956 posts, RR: 34
Reply 6, posted (13 years 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 4963 times:

Yes, people often speak of "old Cathay". Personally, I think it's a great name. I remember, before I really became interested in planes, that there were certain great names in aviation that I had heard of - KLM, Qantas, Pan Am, SAS . . . and Cathay Pacific. It's a very evocative name, suggesting the mystery of the orient, adventure, mystique, the romance of travel . . .
(okay, barf bags out . . . Smile/happy/getting dizzy)

There is a hotel in Manila called, quite imaginatively, the Manila Hotel. It's one of Asia's swankiest hotels and in that hotel is a bar called the Tropicana. Legend has it that in this bar sometime in early 1946, Time and Newsweek journalists, among others, were chatting to Roy Farrell and Syd de Kantzow about possible names for an airline and one came up with Cathay Pacific. Kind of adds to the legend, wouldn't you say!

User currently offlineB-HXB From New Zealand, joined Jan 2001, 745 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (13 years 1 week ago) and read 4894 times:

Apparently either Farrell or de Kantzow had some sort of vision of eventually flying across the Pacific, so that got added to the Cathay...

User currently offlineSenliture From Australia, joined May 2000, 431 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (13 years 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 4821 times:

Cathay Pacific is named after a hotel in Shanghai, which the founders (forgotten how many people there) were talking about starting a new airlines. The name of the hotel appears in a movie, which talks about an English boy's life in Shanghai during WW2.


User currently offlineN79969 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (13 years 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 4719 times:

What is the origin of the word "Cathay"? Portugese? There seem to be a few Portugese names for places in East Asia:


Anyone know?

User currently offlineAtcboy73 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1100 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (13 years 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 4645 times:

Wow, thanks for all the feedback, and thanks for not laughing at my question  Smile

User currently offlineN751PR From Japan, joined May 2002, 1249 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (13 years 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 4627 times:

All I know about the name is that there was a rumor (or legend sorta) that it was made up in the bar of a Manila Hotel. But I guess thats not helping.....

"Ladies and Gentlemen it's happy hour. You will get two approaches for the price of one."
User currently offlineDynkrisolo From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 1875 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (13 years 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 4619 times:

No, Cathay is not of Portuguese origin. Cathay is of Central Asian origin. Obviously, Marco Polo had to go through Central Asia to get to China. So, it's not surprising that he used a name similar to what the Central Asians called China. I believe people in Central Asia still call China using a variation of Cathay.

User currently offlineSenliture From Australia, joined May 2000, 431 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (13 years 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 4552 times:

the word 'cathay' was first appeared (in my mind) in Marco Polo's book, 'the jounary to the east', he mentioned China was called as 'Cathy' (yes, without 'a'). Actually, the word 'Cathy' doesn't really means the place where modern China is at, it means the northern part of China and modern Mogolian and even up to Turks (east of Turkey). It was because the Great Khan conqured most of the land of Asia and even up to Europe, and the people thought that the are the same (Turks=Chinese).

Maybe that's why Cathay Pacific use Marco Polo as their frequent flyer program title.


User currently offlineRed Panda From Hong Kong, joined Jun 2000, 1521 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (13 years 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 4535 times:

I guess "Pacific" means peace.
"Cathay" means China.

r panda

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