Cathay Pacific Airways today announced it has placed firm orders for eight more wide-body regional aircraft as part of its plan to grow the airline and further enhance Hong Kong as a leading international aviation hub. The order will expand the airline’s operating fleet to 94 aircraft.
Orders have been placed for two Boeing 777-300 aircraft and six Airbus 330-300 aircraft, all of which will be deployed on the airline’s short- and medium-haul regional services. Three of the Airbus aircraft will be leased through the International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC).
The aircraft will be delivered from 2005 to 2007. The Boeing aircraft will be in a two-class configuration and will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 800 engines. The Airbus aircraft will use Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines. Five of the Airbus aircraft will be in a two-class configuration, while the A330-300 due for delivery in August 2006 will have a three-class cabin.
In conjunction with the arrival of the new aircraft and Cathay Pacific’s continued growth, the airline also aims to hire more operating crew and ground staff over the next three years. In line with its recent expansion of services, including the addition of a new daily non-stop service to New York from 1 July, the airline is currently in the process of recruiting 600 flight attendants and 70 ground staff to be based at Hong Kong International Airport.
Cathay Pacific Airways Deputy Chairman & Chief Executive David Turnbull said: “The acquisition of eight more aircraft reflects our plan to grow the airline and demonstrates our continued commitment to Hong Kong. The aircraft will enable the airline to increase services and strengthen our network and at the same time help to further develop Hong Kong as a leading global aviation hub. Our expansion will also help us to provide more job openings for local people.”
Mr Turnbull added that Cathay Pacific has plans to expand its long-haul fleet and will make an announcement to this effect in due course. The airline currently operates a fleet of 86 wide-body aircraft.