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Cathay Pacific orders six new aircraft

26 Apr 2002

Cathay Pacific Airways today announced that it has placed firm orders to purchase six new passenger aircraft in a positive step to position the airline to offer more choice to customers and secure a larger market share as demand in the air travel market grows.

The airline has ordered three Boeing 777-300 and three Airbus A330-300 passenger aircraft for delivery in 2003 and 2004. Both types of aircraft are currently deployed by the airline on short- and medium-haul regional routes. Later this year, Cathay Pacific will also take delivery of the first of three long-range Airbus A340-600 aircraft for use on ultra-long-haul routes to Europe and North America.

In conjunction with the new aircraft purchase, Cathay Pacific may need to recruit up to 800 additional staff over the next three years.

The decision to order the new aircraft reflects the company's commitment to maintain the long-term growth of the airline. Current conditions in the supply market also make this an attractive time to purchase new aircraft.

Cathay Pacific currently operates a fleet of 75 aircraft, but has temporarily parked five passenger aircraft and two freighters as a result of the aviation downturn at the end of last year. In current plans, four passenger aircraft and one freighter will be brought back into service later this year as market demand picks up.

Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Officer and Deputy Chairman David Turnbull said: "Because Cathay Pacific managed itself carefully during the downturn we are now able to plan for a better future. Bear in mind that although today's market is weak and it is still too early to pronounce a full recovery, these aircraft will not be delivered for two years. This is an investment in the future of Cathay Pacific and its staff, and underlines our confidence in the future of Hong Kong and our continued effort to strengthen Hong Kong as the region's leading aviation hub."

(Please find below for Cathay Pacific fleet facts)

*New aircraft ordered: 6

3 Airbus A330-300

Powered by: Rolls-Royce Trent 700

Two aircraft will be in a two-class, Business and Economy Class, configuration.

44 Business Class
267 Economy Class
311 Total

One aircraft will be in a three-class, First, Business and Economy Class, configuration. It will join four other three-class A330s that currently serve Australia and the Middle East.

8 First Class
32 Business Class
211 Economy Class
251 Total

3 Boeing 777-300

Powered by: Rolls-Royce Trent 800

All three aircraft will be in a two-class, Business and Economy Class, configuration.

59 Business Class
323 Economy Class
382 Total

*Aircraft in existing CX fleet: 75
7 Boeing 777-300
5 Boeing 777-200
19 Boeing 747-400
5 Boeing 747-400 freighters
4 Boeing 747-200 freighters
15 Airbus A340-300
20 Airbus A330-300

*Average age of passenger aircraft in service: seven years

*Previously ordered aircraft due for delivery: 3
3 Airbus A340-600 (2002/03)

Cathay Pacific serves 60 destinations in 30 countries and territories. The airline is a founding member of the eight-member oneworld alliance which includes: American Airlines, British Airways, Lan Chile, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Qantas and Finnair.