Cathay Pacific Airways has signed a letter of intent with Airbus covering 30 A350 XWBs and plans to exercise purchase rights covering six Boeing 777-300ERs, the airline announced today. The value of the orders would total some HK$75 billion ($9.7 billion).
The Hong Kong-based airline has chosen the A350-900, capable of flying more than 8,000 nm non-stop. Cathay Pacific plans to operate the aircraft throughout its route network, making it the backbone of its midsize fleet.
“The delivery schedule fits our requirements very neatly,” said Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Tony Tyler. “The 30 new aircraft will be deployed to replace older aircraft and grow our fleet to meet the challenges of the future…The purchasing process has been a rigorous and competitive one, which has produced the best result for Cathay Pacific at the end of the day.” The contract calls for deliveries to occur between 2016 and 2019.
Meanwhile, subject to the satisfactory outcome of negotiations with Boeing, Cathay’s exercise of purchase rights for six General Electric-powered Boeing 777-300ER would raise the number of the long-range jets on firm order to 36. Boeing has already delivered eighteen 777-300ERs and Cathay Pacific expects to receive the remaining 12 by 2013.
Cathay Pacific said it expects the Boeing 777-300ER to form the backbone of its ultra-long-haul and long-haul fleet, chiefly serving destinations in North America and Europe.