Cathay Pacific Airways has become Asia’s first Boeing 777X customer with an order for 21 777-9X widebodies, the aircraft forming part of Cathay’s future long-haul fleet strategy.
Boeing values Cathay Pacific Airways’ Boeing 777-9X order at more than $7 billion at current list prices.
The order takes total Boeing 777X-family orders and commitments to 280 aircraft for five customers.
“The 777-9X promises us improved payload range capability and reduced operating costs, in addition to a significant reduction in environmental emissions,” says John Slosar, chief executive of Cathay Pacific Airways.
“We think it will be an ideal fit for long-haul destinations in North America and Europe, in particular those routes where we carry high volumes of passengers and cargo each day,” adds Slosar. “Cathay Pacific is committed to modernizing its fleet to provide a superior experience to passengers.”
Boeing launched the 777X program at the Dubai Airshow 2013 in November, where the new aircraft family garnered orders and commitments for 259 jets valued at $95 billion at list prices. The 777X currently stands as the largest product launch in commercial jetliner history by value and is targeted for first delivery in 2020.
“Cathay Pacific and Boeing share a long-term partnership that spans four decades,” says Ray Conner, Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ president and CEO. “We are honored to continue our tradition of launching new airplane models with Cathay Pacific in Asia, starting with the Rolls Royce powered 747-400 and the original 777-200s, 777-300s, 777-300ERs and naturally, now with the 777X family.”
“The 777-300ER has done a superb job for us and Cathay Pacific is now the second-largest operator of this type,” remarks Slosar. “We are now delighted to be an early customer for this next generation of the 777 aircraft.”
Among the new technologies on the Boeing 777X family will be a new composite wing, new engines and improved aerodynamics.
Boeing says the 777-9X, with 400 seats, will be the largest and most efficient twin-engine commercial jet in the world and will have the lowest operating cost per seat of any commercial airplane.
It will also have no direct competitor in its market segment, since the largest Airbus twin-engine widebody will be the A350-1000, which will have at least 50 seats fewer than the 777-9X at Boeing’s preferred 17-inch seat-width configuration.
Cathay Pacific Airways, Hong Kong’s flag carrier, operates 55 Boeing 777s, including 38 Boeing 777-300ER jets. Cathay Pacific also operates an all-Boeing freighter fleet that includes 13 747-8 Freighters.