Cathay Pacific Airways has announced that it intends to add the Airbus A350-1000 to its future A350 XWB fleet, with an agreement to place a new order for 10 aircraft.
In addition, Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways will convert existing orders for 16 Airbus A350-900s to the larger A350-1000.
The acquisition of the A350-1000, which is subject to the approval of the airline’s board, will bring the total number of Airbus A350 XWB widebodies ordered by Cathay Pacific to 48. The airline also has separate lease agreements to acquire two more A350 XWB jets.
The A350-1000 is the largest version of the A350 XWB family and typically will seat 350 passengers in a three-class layout.
According to Airbus, the A350-1000 will be capable of flying 8,400 nautical miles non-stop and will be operated by Cathay Pacific on higher-density routes, including its longest non-stop flights to Europe and North America.
The aircraft will be powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines, each delivering 97,000lbs of thrust – the most powerful engines ever developed for an Airbus aircraft.
“This is an important and strategic development for Cathay Pacific. The A350-1000 aircraft will bring us world-beating fuel efficiency and environmental friendliness,” says John Slosar, chief executive of Cathay Pacific Airways. “It will also be a very popular aircraft with our customers and its improved payload and range will allow us to connect more and more important cities worldwide directly with Hong Kong.”
“This announcement from one of the world’s most highly respected airlines is a clear endorsement of the unbeatable operating economics offered by the A350-1000,” says Fabrice Brégier, Airbus president & CEO.
“The A350-1000 will be a game changer in the 350-seat category, offering outstanding payload-range capability and a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn,” adds Brégier. “As an all-new design, it will outperform existing aircraft in its size category on every count, as well as any future derivatives of those aircraft.”
The A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) family is an all-new, mid-size, long-range airliner family comprising three versions seating between 270 and 350 passengers in typical three-class layouts.
Scheduled for entry into service in 2014, the A350 XWB has now accumulated firm orders for 548 aircraft, from 34 customers worldwide.