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Not so baffling

Big headline on the front page of the ‘City’ section of the South China Morning Post today, but it turns out to be the usual load of nonsense:

Pictures baffle Dragonair workers

Three mysterious branding-type photos are raising questions on whether the airline is moving to align its image with parent Cathay

Phila Siu and Keith Wallis | South China Morning Post | 2 March 2013

A new image may be in the works for Dragonair, judging from three photographs that appear to herald a brand relaunch.

One of the pictures shows a model standing in front of a plane with the words "Cathay Dragon" emblazoned across it. Industry insiders say the images are part of a genuine effort to sort out the future relationship between Cathay Pacific and its wholly owned subsidiary.

The pictures have been circulating among Dragonair employees. The airline said: "The photos are not from us," but would not say if it had commissioned the photography.

When Cathay Pacific bought Dragonair for HK$8.22 billion in 2006, it said it would allow Dragonair to operate under its own brand for six years. The deadline passed last year.

So Cathay is now allowed to re-brand Dragonair.  Which makes it neither baffling nor mysterious that it should be looking into the possibility of doing just that.

And it is somewhat strange that the Dragonair name is still used outside China.  For example, Cathay flies to Ho Chi Minh City, whilst Dragonair flies to Hanoi (and soon to Danang).  Dragonair flies to Bangalore whilst all other destinations in India are served by Cathay (though I think they are going to do something about that). 

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