Cathay Pacific signs £5bn deal with Airbus

Cathay Pacific has signed a £5 billion deal with aircraft manufacturer Airbus for the delivery of 30 new A350-900 aircraft.

The deal represents the Hong Kong airline’s biggest-ever single aircraft purchase, with deliveries scheduled to begin in 2016 and stretch over a three year period.

Signing the deal Cathay Pacific chief executive, Tony Tyler, said: “I am delighted we have now finalised this milestone deal for Cathay Pacific.

“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 new A350-900 XWB (“Extra Wide Body”) will expand the Cathay Pacific fleet, serving principally long-haul destinations in Europe.

The aircraft will be powered by two new-generation Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.

Cathay Pacific chief executive, Tony Tyler, welcomed the deal

Commenting on the Cathay Pacific order, Airbus chief operating officer John 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.”

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.