Cathay Pacific Orders New Learjet 45 For Pilot Training

Cathay Pacific Airways today announced it has ordered a new Learjet® 45 business jet from Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier Aerospace for use in its advanced pilot training programme. The airline has also purchased an option to order a second Learjet. The new Learjet 45 will be used to help train Second Officers progressing to the rank of First Officer and for First Officers progressing to the rank of Captain.

The Learjet 45 will be delivered to Cathay Pacific in the third quarter of this year and be operated and maintained on its behalf by BAE Systems Flight Training (Australia) from its school at Parafield in South Australia. Cathay Pacific uses the school as part of its pilot training programme.

Cathay Pacific`s Director Flight Operations Ken Barley said: “We have been looking for some time for a business jet that will give our crew the extra experience they need for transition training. We believe the Learjet 45 is an excellent choice. Its cockpit technology is very similar to that used in our commercial fleet and it is designed to operate at a very high utilisation.”

The Learjet 45 is the best-selling aircraft in the super-light business jet segment. More than 100 of these aircraft have been delivered since they first entered service in 1998. The aircraft operates at speeds up to Mach .81 and altitudes up to 51,000 feet. It is widely used as an advanced training aircraft. Cathay Pacific`s Learjet will be configured for eight passengers with a third crew seat to accommodate its training role.

Cathay Pacific is in the middle of a major expansion phase which is seeing it add new aircraft, new frequencies, new destinations, and new pilots. The airline recruited more than 200 pilots during 2000 and is in the process of recruiting a further 200 this year. During 2001 a total of 131 Second Officers will be promoted to First Officers, and 95 First Officers will be promoted to Captains.

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Bombardier Aerospace is a leading business, regional and amphibious aircraft manufacturer. With full design and production capabilities in three countries, the company offers a comprehensive family of turboprop and regional jet aircraft and a wide range of business jets.

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