Cathay Pacific Airways
has announced a further expansion of its fleet, with a firm order placed for eight more Airbus A330-300 aircraft valued at approximately US$1.7 billion at list prices. Together with the commitment for 17 long-haul passenger aircraft and freighters announced last month, the new aircraft will take the Cathay Pacific Groups fleet size to 200 by 2012.
The latest additions, scheduled for delivery between 2010 and 2012, will take the number of A330-300s in Cathay Pacifics fleet to 40.
Twenty nine are already in operation and three more are set for delivery in 2008. Another 16 A330-300s are operated by sister airline Dragonair, meaning the Cathay Pacific Group operates the largest A330-300 fleet in the world.
The new Airbus A330-300s will be powered by Rolls Royce Trent 700 engines that will feature a number of environmentally friendly modifications, including the latest fuel-burn improvements. Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Tony Tyler said: “This is another significant development for the Cathay Pacific Group as we continue expanding our regional and long-haul fleets to further strengthen Hong Kong’s position as a leading international aviation hub. The A330 is the most efficient aircraft for our regional and medium-haul fleet and we are delighted that with this order our fleet will grow to more than 50 such aircraft. These new aircraft will be deployed by both Cathay Pacific and Dragonair as our regional and Mainland networks continue to grow.”
Mr Tyler said the Group is also considering leasing or buying more Airbus A320 aircraft to meet expected growth on secondary routes in the region. Dragonair currently operates a fleet of 16 of the aircraft type.
Cathay Pacific currently operates a fleet of 111 aircraft and has 55 aircraft - 37 passenger aircraft and 18 freighters on firm order. Together with the 39 aircraft, including seven freighters, operated by its sister airline Dragonair and the eight freighters operated by its express cargo subsidiary airline Air Hong Kong, operated in partnership with DHL, the Cathay Pacific Groups combined fleet now totals 158 aircraft. By 2012, taking into account retired aircraft and the return of leased aircraft, Cathay Pacific will operate a total of 155 aircraft, while the Groups fleet will number 200 aircraft.