Incredulous: Cathay Pacific Paints Jet With Misspelled Name

Filed Under: Cathay Pacific

Planes undergo maintenance all the time, and undergo heavy maintenance every few years. During this time it’s normal for airplanes to be repainted, both so the planes look “fresher,” and also to reflect any updated branding the airline may have. For example, a couple of years ago Cathay Pacific introduced new branding and a new livery, and they’re still in the process of repainting all their planes with this new livery.

Well, it looks like one of those paint jobs didn’t go quite as planned. I guess mistakes can happen with just about anything, no matter how simple, right?

A Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300 (with registration code B-HNO) that has been flying for the airline since 2004 recently got a new paint job. On September 19 the plane flew from Xiamen to Hong Kong, as presumably that work is done in Xiamen.

The plane was back in Hong Kong and ready to enter service when they noticed something wasn’t quite right with the livery:

At first I assumed this had to be a prank, because presumably they couldn’t get something this wrong? Like even if they weren’t looking at the individual letters, doesn’t the gap between the two words look way smaller than usual?

But nope, Cathay Pacific has confirmed on Twitter that this really happened, and it looks like their short term solution is to cover up the last “IC” of the name to save face until the plane gets repainted. Hah.

Kudos to Cathay Pacific for at least having a good sense of humor about this and poking fun at the situation.

  1. They should make it iconic by simply putting a ^ and F over it. It would make it an unique livery within the fleet, and some publicity.

  2. Speaking from a branding perspective, it unfortunately just enforces a negative stereotype of Chinese being sloppy drones who will cut corners wherever possible, come hell or high water.

    Therefore, while is fun in some circles, it will not reflect well on the brand *at all*. It seriously leads to doubts about what other glaring mistakes they don’t catch.

  3. Who signed off for the job should get fired. The planes should never made its way back to Hong Kong like this.

  4. HK, there is nothing racist about asking for someone who can work to the barest minimum of Western standards.

  5. This is the second boardingarea blogger in a month to totally misuse the word incredulous. What’s in the water at your headquarters?

  6. You can be “incredulous”.

    The event of this occurring is “incredible.”

    That said, “incredulous” does not “stunned, amazed, floored.”

    It means skeptical.

    Maybe you didn’t believe this news?

  7. While the word intended is probably “incredible”, “incredulous” is not totally wrong, it could be shorthand for “I can’t believe this!”

  8. Sum Ting Wong!
    For the record, I’m Korean-Japanese.
    I’d say it’s an honest mistake in a city where “Chinglish” is common. Sinitic and Indo-European languages are vastly different. That being said, someone’s head will have to roll to save “face.”

  9. Reminds me of Nury Vittachi’s column in the ( sadly no longer ) Far Eastern Economic Review; he covered all of this kind of mangled English and in a very funny way.

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