Kung fu compulsory for Hong Kong Airlines cabin crew
Hong Kong Airlines is teaching its cabin crew kung fu so they can deal with unruly passengers, the South China Morning Post reported yesterday.
The airline has ordered its 23 new cabin crew to master wing chun -- a form of kung fu practiced by martial arts legends Bruce Lee and Ip Man -- which is characterized by sharp movements and close-range combat.
While the prospect of female flight attendants busting slick kung fu moves may seem like pure anime fanboy fantasy, the training proved invaluable in a sticky situation on a recent flight from Beijing to Hong Kong, claims Eva Chan, the airline's deputy general manager of corporate communications.
"One of the passengers was sick but he was probably drunk and felt unwell -- the crew member attended to him and she realized her fitness was helping her especially because the guy was quite heavy," Chan told South China Morning Post.
"Normally, a female cabin crew can't handle a fat guy, especially if he's drunk, but because of the training, she can handle it quite easily."
The idea of compulsory martial arts training came about after the airline's top brass watched some crew members demonstrate wing chun and dance during a company function last year.
Katherine Cheung, one of the kung fu instructors, said wing chun is well-suited for cabin crew as it can be performed in small, confined places.
Lumpy Tang, a 22-year-old flight attendant trainee, said wing chun is good for her job because it is fast and "you cannot predict what will happen on the plane."
Chan reportedly said that on average cabin crew have to deal with disruptive passengers three times a week.