Cathay Pacific bulks up 777 order

Cathay Pacific Airways has announced that it has placed an order for
five more advanced wide-body Boeing 777-300ER “Extended Range” aircraft,
increasing its commitment to a total of 23 of the aircraft type.The
five additional Boeing 777-300ERs will be purchased directly from the
Boeing Company.

In December 2005 Cathay Pacific made a commitment to acquire 16 Boeing
777-300ERs - the airline’s biggest-ever order for new aircraft - through
a combination of 12 direct purchases from Boeing and four operating
leases through International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC). In June
2006, the airline exercised rights for another two of the aircraft type,
taking its firm order to 18.

The new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, delivery of which commences in
September, will significantly boost Cathay Pacific’s capacity and will
be used primarily on long-haul and ultra-long-haul routes to Europe and
North America. The five additional Boeing 777-300ER aircraft will be
delivered in 2011. General Electric’s GE90-115B engines will power all
23 of the airline’s Boeing 777-300ERs.

Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Tony Tyler said: “We are pleased to
announce the purchase of five more of these advanced aircraft. The fleet
expansion is in line with our plan to expand our network and
connectivity, in the process further strengthening Cathay Pacific’s
position as Hong Kong’s home carrier and cementing the city’s status as
a leading international aviation hub. These aircraft represent a very
substantial investment and underline our long-term commitment to the
continued profitable growth of the airline and to providing the best
travel experience for our passengers.”

In addition to the commitment for 23 Boeing 777-300ERs, Cathay Pacific
is also scheduled to take delivery of another 12 aircraft - four Airbus
A330-300s, six Boeing 747-400ERF “Extended Range Freighters” and two
747-400BCF “Boeing Converted Freighters” by 2009.


The airline currently operates a fleet of 106 aircraft including 87
passenger aircraft (24 Boeing 747-400s, 15 Airbus A340-300s, 3 Airbus
A340-600s, 17 Boeing 777-200/300s and 28 Airbus A330-300s) and 19
freighters. Together with the 38 aircraft operated by its sister airline
Dragonair and the eight freighters operated by Air Hong Kong, an
all-cargo joint venture with DHL, the Cathay Pacific Group’s combined
fleet now totals 152 aircraft. This figure will grow to more than 180 by