Cathay Pacific Airways today welcomed the arrival of its first Learjet 45 training aircraft—which landed at Hong Kong International Airport at 2:20pm this afternoon. The aircraft was ordered from Canadian manufacturer Bombardier Aerospace for use in Cathay Pacific`s pilot training programme.
The Learjet took off from Tucson Arizona on Sunday under the command of Cathay Pacific Captain Gus Larard, Flying Training Manager Airbus. Accompanying him was Ian Morris, Jet Training Manager BAE Systems, the company which will operate the Learjet on Cathay Pacific`s behalf.
The Learjet 45 is an ultra-modern aircraft, with cockpit and systems configurations similar to those of the other aircraft in Cathay Pacific`s fleet. It has a seating capacity of seven, including a special jump seat behind the cockpit. The Learjet can cruise at a speed of 850 kilometres an hour and climb up to an altitude of 51,000 feet.
Cathay Pacific`s Director Flight Operations Captain Ken Barley said: “We are delighted to have acquired the Learjet 45 as part of our pilot training programme. We are committed to training and developing the skills of our pilots to meet the airline`s future fleet growth. Our pilots can now make use of this aircraft to acquire more flying experience.”
The Learjet will leave Hong Kong tomorrow for Adelaide in South Australia. It will be based at the BAE Systems Flight Training College at Parafield Airport near Adelaide where Cathay Pacific conducts its Cadet Pilot Programme. Its arrival at Parafield on Friday morning will coincide with the graduation ceremony for ten of Cathay Pacific`s cadet pilots.