The airline was founded on 24 September 1946 by Australian Sydney H. de Kantzow and American Roy C. Farrell, with each man putting up HK$1 to register the airline. The airline made the world's first non-stop transpolar flight flying over the North Pole in July 1998, and the same flight was the maiden flight to arrive at the new Hong Kong International Airport. The airline celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2006; and as of October 2009, its major shareholders are Swire Pacific and Air China. It is reciprocally one of the major shareholders of Air China. Cathay Pacific currently holds the title of the world's third largest airline, measured in terms of market capitalisation, according to the International Air Transport Association. In 2010, Cathay Pacific became the world's largest international cargo airline, along with main hub Hong Kong International Airport as the world's busiest airport in terms of cargo traffic.
Cathay Pacific is a founding member of the Oneworld alliance, with its subsidiary, Dragonair, as an affiliate member.
Cathay Pacific was awarded Skytrax's 2014 Airline of the Year. Cathay Pacific has won the 'World's Best Airline' award for the fourth time, more than any other airline.
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