Cathay Pacific Airways has signed a series of deals to add a further 15 wide-bodied aircraft to its fleet by September 2001. The 15 aircraft include nine new aircraft deals in addition to the six announced since last October. The new aircraft will increase the size of Cathay Pacific`s operational fleet from 65 to 80 aircraft, an increase of almost 25 percent.
The new aircraft orders include the following:
* Four Airbus Industrie A330-300s for delivery in the second half of 2001
* One Boeing 777-200 for delivery in December 2000
* One Boeing 747-400 freighter for delivery in April 2001
* Three Airbus A330s to be leased.
The announcements made over the last six months include :
* Three Airbus A330-300s for delivery in the first half of 2001
* One Airbus A340-300 leased from ILFC for delivery in January 2001
* Two Boeing 747-400 freighters for September 2000 and August 2001.
“With Asian markets picking up we feel it is the right time to expand the airline. This will also strengthen Hong Kong`s role as Asia`s leading aviation hub,” said Cathay Pacific Chairman James Hughes-Hallett. “With a larger fleet we will be adding new destinations and increasing frequencies across our already extensive global network, bringing our passengers and cargo shippers even more choice of services.”
The fleet expansion will also create new jobs with the airline expecting to recruit 1,000 cabin crew, 220 pilots, and over 200 ground staff. Most of these jobs will be based in Hong Kong.
Discussing the deal, Airbus Industrie Chief Executive Officer No‘l Forgeard said: “This repeat order, from one of the world`s most prestigious international carriers, once again endorses the popularity of the A330 and A340 in their respective market segments. We look forward to continuing to develop the Airbus Industrie fleet at the airline, with both the existing products and future new aircraft types.”
“We are delighted Cathay Pacific has gain chosen the 777-200 and 747-400 freighter to be part of its fleet expansion plan,” said Ray Conner, Boeing Commercial Airplane Group, Vice President-Asia/Pacific Sales. “The 777-200 has low operating costs and is renowned for passenger comfort. The 747-400F is the perfect addition to Cathay Pacific`s freighter fleet. With Asia`s air cargo market expanding, the 747-400F will help the airline respond quickly to growing demand.”
Cathay Pacific currently operates a fleet of 65 aircraft: 19 Boeing 747-400s, 2 Boeing 747-400 freighters, 7 Boeing 747-200 freighters, 7 Boeing 777-300s, 4 Boeing 777-200s, 14 Airbus A340-300s, and 12 Airbus A330-300s.