Hong Kong Airlines has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus at the Farnborough International Airshow to acquire 15 A350 XWBs and 10 more A330-200s.
Under the terms of the agreement, the airline is converting 15 existing A330 orders to A350 XWBs and placing an additional order for 10 A330-200s. The MOU was signed on the second trade day of the show on July 20, 2010.
Deliveries of the additional A330-200s will begin in 2012, with the first A350 XWB arriving in 2018. The aircraft will be operated across a long-haul network currently being developed by the airline to link Hong Kong with a wide range of destinations in Europe and North America.
“Our latest commitment underscores our ambition to develop an extensive long haul network offering world class service,” says Yang Jian Hong, president of Hong Kong Airlines. “The super-efficient A330-200 is the perfect platform for us to develop these services, while the A350 XWB will become our new flagship towards the end of this decade.”
Established in 2006, Hong Kong Airlines operates a full-service Asian network, to which it recently added its first long-haul service to Europe. Upon confirmation of the July 20 MOU, the carrier’s widebody orders with Airbus will comprise 15 A350 XWBs and 18 A330s. The carrier also has 30 single-aisle A320 aircraft on firm order for future delivery.
The A330 is one of the most widely used widebody aircraft in service today. To date, Airbus has won more than 1,000 orders for the various versions of the aircraft. More than 700 A330s have already been delivered and the aircraft is currently flying with over 80 airlines worldwide.
The A350 XWB family is an all-new product line seating between 270 and 350 passengers in typical three-class layouts. Scheduled for first entry-into-service in 2013, the A350 XWB has already won firm orders for 530 aircraft from 34 customers worldwide. Should Hong Kong Airlines confirm its MOU soon, the number would rise to 545.