Cathay Pacific Airways has signed an agreement to lease a new Airbus Industrie A340-300 from the International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC). The lease is for five years from January 2001 with an option to extend. The new aircraft will increase the number of A340-300s in Cathay Pacific`s operating fleet to 15.
The new aircraft will have an internal configuration identical to the airline`s other A340s, with a total of 249 seats in three classes. Like all A340-300s, it will be powered by CFM56 engines.
“We are very pleased to have reached this agreement with ILFC to secure another A340 for our fleet as this will help us further strengthen our network and our hub at Hong Kong International Airport,” said Tony Tyler, Cathay Pacific`s Director Corporate Development. “We are very satisfied with the performance and efficiency of our A330s and A340s as shown by the fact we have one of the largest combined fleets of these aircraft in the world.”
Cathay Pacific has announced a number of aircraft purchases and lease agreements over the last six months as it looks to expand amid Asia`s improving transport and tourism industries. Last October, the airline agreed to lease three A340s from Air China for two years, and placed an order to purchase two new Boeing 747-400 freighters for delivery in September 2000 and August 2001. In December it placed an order with Airbus for three new A330s for delivery in 2001.
Cathay Pacific currently operates a fleet of 62 aircraft, namely 19 Boeing 747-400s, 2 Boeing 747-400 freighters, 4 Boeing 747-200 freighters, 7 Boeing 777-300s, 4 Boeing 777-200s, 14 Airbus A340-300s, and 12 Airbus A330-300s.
The International Lease Finance Corporation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of American International Group and specialises in leasing and remarketing commercial jet aircraft to airlines around the world. ILFC currently owns a portfolio of more than 400 jet aircraft.