AHK Air Hong Kong Ltd. today announced its intention to purchase six new Airbus A300-600F “General Freighter” aircraft in order to implement its previously announced plan to expand operations within the Asian region.
The six wide-body aircraft are scheduled for delivery between the second half of 2004 and first quarter of 2005. AHK, the Hong Kong-based all-cargo carrier, also has options on four more of the same aircraft type for possible delivery at a later date.
AHK will be the launch customer for the A300-600F “General Freighter”, which differs from A300-600F aircraft currently being built for other carriers in that it has a loading system and side door capable of handling large items of general freight in addition to small packages.
A final decision has yet to be made on which engine will power the aircraft. Two power plants are available for this aircraft type - one produced by General Electric and the other by Pratt & Whitney.
AHK`s order is in furtherance of its cooperative venture with DHL Worldwide Express, signed in October 2002, to support DHL`s services to major cities in the Asia Pacific region from AHK`s base at Hong Kong International Airport. Cathay Pacific Airways owns 70 percent of AHK and DHL holds a 30 percent stake.
AHK Air Hong Kong Chairman Tony Tyler said: “This is a great step forward in Air Hong Kong`s development and its partnership with DHL. This very significant fleet expansion demonstrates Air Hong Kong`s commitment to enhancing Hong Kong`s position as Asia`s leading air cargo hub, and to strengthening the scope and quality of service that we already provide DHL.”