Cathay Pacific Airways today concluded the purchase agreement with aircraft manufacturer Airbus for the delivery of 30 new A350-900 aircraft, representing the airline’s biggest-ever single aircraft purchase. The new acquisitions are valued at HK$60.84 billion at list price. Deliveries will begin in 2016 and are scheduled to stretch over a three year period.
Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Tony Tyler joined Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers, John Leahy to finalise the purchase agreement at a signing ceremony today.
Mr Tyler said: “I am delighted that we have now finalised this milestone deal for Cathay Pacific. The purchase of these new generation aircraft is an important step in our plan to grow our fleet to ensure that we stay at the forefront of the industry. The A350 fits perfectly into our operation. Its passenger capacity, flight range and operating economics are just right to become the backbone of our mid-sized long haul wide-bodied fleet.”
The all-new A350-900 XWB (“Extra Wide Body”) will replenish and expand the fleet of Cathay Pacific, serving principally long-haul destinations in Europe. The aircraft will be powered by two new-generation Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines and is expected to deliver improved payload range capability at competitive costs, at the same time providing high standards of passenger comfort and safety.
Featuring an all-new design, the A350 aircraft will represent a step change in operational efficiency, burning significantly less fuel than existing aircraft of a similar size and offering a corresponding reduction in carbon emissions.
Commenting on the Cathay Pacific order, Mr Leahy said: “We are extremely pleased to have finalised this order with one of the world’s most prestigious and well-managed airlines. The selection of the A350 XWB by Cathay Pacific is a clear endorsement of the aircraft’s compelling advantages, with lower fuel-burn, reduced operating costs and a wider, more comfortable cabin. We look forward to the aircraft playing a key role in enabling Cathay Pacific to remain at the forefront of the industry with one of the cleanest and most modern fleets in the world.”
Cathay Pacific currently operates a fleet of 128 wide-body aircraft and with the Airbus A350 now has a total of 60 aircraft on firm order. Last month the airline also expressed its intention to exercise existing purchase rights for six more Boeing 777-300ER ultra-long-haul aircraft, which would take its total order for the type to 36.
The investment in the new A350 aircraft is in addition to significant investments Cathay Pacific has already committed to make between now and 2013 including aircraft already on firm order, the new cargo terminal at Hong Kong International Airport and enhanced products in the cabin and on the ground.