24th November 2023 – (Hong Kong) Qantas passengers and crew aboard the QF127 flight from Sydney to Hong Kong erupted into cheers and applause for their oldest passenger, 103-year-old Ngan Chun Kam, affectionately known as ‘Mamma.’ The momentous occasion took place on 3rd November, leaving Ms. Kam stunned and feeling incredibly special.
From her seat in the business class section, Ms. Kam received a remarkable welcome announcement from the pilot, resonating throughout the entire aircraft and culminating in a thunderous cheer from fellow passengers. This extraordinary milestone was a testament to Ms. Kam’s remarkable life, as she was born in January 1920, just months before the establishment of Australia’s flagship airline in November of the same year.
Jayson Eng, a Qantas customer service agent, expressed his deep appreciation for having the privilege of hosting the airline’s oldest passenger. He shared, “We got her trip off to a flying start with a special welcome announcement from the Captain, which was broadcast throughout the entire aircraft. Everyone on board gave her a big round of applause. Our crew loved taking turns to introduce themselves to Ms. Kam, and we called her Po Po (Grandma in Cantonese) as a sign of respect. She was such a delight to have on board.”
Radiating joy, Ms. Kam was captured in photographs alongside her friend John and over 20 Qantas flight attendants, commemorating the momentous flight earlier in the month. Despite her initial confusion due to her limited English proficiency, Ms. Kam’s daughter-in-law, Helen, explained that she soon grasped the reason behind the cheers. Learning that she was the oldest passenger to ever fly with Qantas made her feel incredibly special.
In addition to the warm reception, Ms. Kam, who was traveling in business class, received a thoughtful goodie bag from the airline, complete with champagne and Qantas merchandise. Each year, she visits Sydney to spend time with her 81-year-old son, Dennis, his wife Helen, and their children. Ms. Kam also has a daughter in Canada and three sons residing in Hong Kong.
The longevity of this extraordinary centenarian is attributed by Helen to Ms. Kam’s love of fishing and her daily walks to the fresh food market near her Hong Kong home. Her late husband, a visionary businessman, had purchased the apartments where Ms. Kam and her three sons currently reside. Married at the age of 19, they raised six children who now range in age from 72 to 83. Ms. Kam takes pride in her 13 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren, cherishing the profound legacy she has cultivated over the course of a century.