Sometimes the biggest blunders are hidden in plain sight. That was the case this week for Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific, which misspelled its own name on the side of an airplane.
Photos made the rounds Wednesday showing a Boeing 777-367 at Hong Kong International Airport emblazoned with the letters: “CATHAY PACIIC.” The image first appeared on the Hong Kong Aviation Discussion Board Facebook group, CNN reports.
An engineer at Haeco, the airline’s sister company, was at a loss for an explanation. “If it was a real mistake,” he told the South China Morning Post, there should have been “a blank gap” in place of the missing letter. “The spacing is too on-point for a mishap. We have stencils,” he added.
According to the Guardian, the plane has been in the Hong Kong carrier’s fleet since 2004. It had just completed a journey to Hong Kong Wednesday from Xiamen, China, where Haeco provides airplane maintenance services for the airline.
Cathay Pacific displayed a sense of humor about the mishap, posting that the “special livery won’t last long,” as the plane is headed “back to the shop!”
It is unclear how much the blunder will cost to correct, but it could be thousands of dollars, according to the Post.
Social media users had a bit of a field day with the error. “I’m sure someone will ix it,” the airline’s in-flight entertainment manager promised.