Cathay Pacific Airways today took delivery of a new Boeing 747-400 Freighter, increasing the size of its freighter fleet to 10 aircraft and its total fleet to 66 aircraft. The newly delivered freighter will enhance Cathay Pacific’s cargo capacity and help boost Hong Kong’s position as the world’s leading international air cargo centre.
A delivery ceremony for the new freighter was held this morning Hong Kong time at the Boeing headquarters in Seattle. Taking part were Cathay Pacific’s Engineering Director Derek Cridland, General Manager Cargo Kenny Tang, and Vice President Americas Tom Wright. A number of senior Boeing representatives also attended.
Mr Tang said: “We are very pleased to take delivery of this excellent new freighter aircraft. The 747-400 Freighter has the greatest capacity of any commercial air freighter and is an excellent choice to help us further strengthen Hong Kong’s position as the world’s leading hub for international air cargo.”
The Boeing 747-400 Freighter can carry up to 120 tonnes of cargo, 25 tonnes more than a B747-200 Freighter. It also burns 15% less fuel than its predecessor, allowing it to fly further and to more destinations.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group Executive Vice President - Sales and Marketing Seddik Belyamani said: “Cathay Pacific is a proven world class operator. It is fitting that the cargo capacity leader, the Boeing 747-400 freighter, is the key to Cathay Pacific`s cargo operation.”
The longer range of the B747-400 Freighter will enable Cathay Pacific to operate non-stop freighter flights between Hong Kong and London for the first time. This will deliver a big improvement in transport times for its cargo customers. The new aircraft will be the first B747-400 Freighter Cathay Pacific has used on its European routes.
The new B747-400 Freighter is the first of three that Boeing will deliver to Cathay Pacific over the next 12 months. The second will be delivered in April 2001, and the third in August 2001. With today`s delivery, Cathay Pacific now owns three B747-400 Freighters, four B747-200 Freighters, and three B747-200 Freighters operated by Air Hong Kong.
Cargo represents an increasingly important part of Cathay Pacific`s overall business. In the first half of this year, cargo operations accounted for 28.5% of the airline’s turnover, up from 27.5% in the first half of 1999. Cathay Pacific’s freighters currently fly to 19 destinations around the world. Three new freighter destinations - New Delhi, Penang, and San Francisco - are being added this month.