Hong Kong airliner Cathay Pacific told on itself today after publishing photos to Twitter of a paint job gone wrong on one of its planes, with the fuselage mistakenly reading “Cathay Paciic,” leading all of the internet to joke about not giving an “F.”
On the surface, it’s just a situation like all of those soul-crushing times you only caught a spelling mistake on a school project while in front of the teacher, your classmates, and God. Except it’s an airline with a Twitter account and no shame. Here’s the tweet with the images:
But some were suspicious and asked around, thinking this sort of mistake is a little too “spacific” to be genuine, and that the airline was a little too quick to laugh it off. From the South China Morning Post (via the BBC):
Shown the typo, an engineer for Haeco, a sister company of the airline, was baffled by how such a mistake could have happened.
“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,” the engineer said.
Considering livery paint jobs for aircraft reportedly go for anywhere from $50,000 to $200,000, it seems like they would take a little more care in getting it right, especially with stencils. Considering just respraying the name on the plane would likely cost a bit less, the mistake may have been more of a deceptive promotional move.
And here we are, so it worked! But how would I trust Cathay Pacific’s flight engineers and pilots if I can’t even trust them to get the name right with a stencil?
Then again, I once bubbled in my name wrong on a high school scantron test and had to retake it, so who am I to judge.