Cathay Pacific Places Biggest Ever Order For New Aircraft
01 Dec 2005
Cathay Pacific Airways today placed its biggest ever order for new aircraft to grow the airline, modernise and expand its fleet and continue to strengthen Hong Kong as a global aviation hub.
The airline has made commitments for 16 advanced wide-body Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with purchase rights for 20 more. It also made commitments to acquire three Airbus A330-300s to operate regional routes.
The 777-300ER’s will be acquired through a combination of 12 direct purchases from The Boeing Company and four operating leases from International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC). The three new A330-300s will also be acquired via operating leases from ILFC.
The 777-300ER will be powered by General Electric GE90-115B engines and the Airbus A330-300 by the Rolls-Royce Trent 700. The 16 777-300ERs will be delivered between September 2007 and July 2010. All three Airbus A330-300s will be delivered in 2008.
Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Philip Chen said: "These aircraft orders mark an exciting and significant milestone in the development of our airline – demonstrating our Board’s confidence in the long-term future of the airline and Hong Kong. The addition of these new aircraft to the 100 we will have by next year will make us a carrier of significant size."
Mr Chen added: "More aircraft will allow us to have more flights, new destinations and greater hub connections. This rapid fleet increase will enhance our strength as a carrier and Hong Kong's position as a global hub and gateway to the Chinese Mainland. This is a long-term commitment to the continued profitable growth of the airline. It puts us firmly on a footing for future success."
Cathay Pacific's fleet currently totals 95 aircraft. Its long-haul fleet comprises 22 Boeing 747-400, 15 Airbus A340-300 and three Airbus A340-600. The regional fleet comprises 16 Boeing 777-200/300 and 26 Airbus A330-300 aircraft. The airline also operates 13 Boeing 747 freighters.
Later this month, the airline takes delivery of the world’s first 747-400BCF (Boeing Converted Freighter), converted from a Cathay Pacific passenger 747-400 aircraft. The airline has firm orders for six such 747-400BCF's and has options for a further six.
One new 747-400F freighter, one 777-300 and three Airbus A330-300s and three refitted 747-400 passenger aircraft have entered service with the airline this year. It has outstanding orders for one Boeing 777-300 and three Airbus A330-300s and one 747-400. Cathay Pacific's fleet will total 100 aircraft by September 2006, its 60th Anniversary.