Cathay Pacific Airways this week welcomed the first Airbus A340-600 aircraft to visit Hong Kong. Cathay Pacific will be the Asian launch customer for the A340-600 with its first delivery due later this year. The visiting aircraft, in shining Airbus Industrie livery, is at the start of a two week “route proving” world tour. The route proving is part of the official certification programme for the A340-600, to ensure excellent operational standards from the very first day in airline service.
Cathay Pacific Airways Engineering Director Derek Cridland said: “Cathay Pacific has worked closely with Airbus Industrie on the development of the A340 family, and the new A340-600 really is a beautiful aircraft. We are looking forward to the first delivery.”
The aircraft departed from Hong Kong bound for Los Angeles this morning. Many Cathay Pacific staff from different departments including Engineering, Airports and Flight Operations took the chance to take a closer look at the new aircraft during two separate stopovers in Hong Kong.
The A340-600 can carry 380 passengers over a range of up to 13,900 km (7,500 nautical miles) in a typical three-class layout. It is the largest variant in Airbus` A330/A340 Family, and is powered by four Rolls-Royce Trent 500 engines,
The A340-600 was launched in December 1997 and made its maiden flight last April. The first three examples have since been engaged in an extensive certification and performance validation programme culminating in 1,420 hours and 470 flights as at end-March.