Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways has exercised existing purchase rights for six additional Boeing 777-300ERs.
The six new long-range widebodies, which have a combined estimated value of $1.6 billion at Boeing list prices, will increase Cathay Pacific’s future fleet of 777-300ERs from 30 to 36.
Cathay Pacific, one of the world’s largest operators of the 777-300ER, also operates 12 shorter-range Boeing 777-300s and five 777-200s.
The Hong Kong-based carrier first announced its selection of the 777-300ER in 2005. This announcement is Cathay Pacific’s fourth increase in its acquisition plans for the long-range jetliner, according to Boeing.
“We are very pleased to confirm this purchase of six more Boeing 777-300ERs – a superb aircraft that already has significantly enhanced our operations on key long-haul routes,” says Tony Tyler, Cathay Pacific Airways’ chief executive. “We have been very impressed by the operating economics of these aircraft, while their high efficiency has resulted in a reduced environmental impact. As we continue to enhance our fleet, the 777-300ER will play a crucial role in our operations in the years to come.”
The Boeing 777 is the world’s most successful twin-engine, long-haul aircraft family. Boeing incorporated several performance enhancements for the 777-300ER, extending its range and payload capabilities. The manufacturer says excellent performance during flight testing, combined with engine-efficiency improvements and design changes that reduced drag and aircraft weight, contributed to the increased capability.
In addition to Boeing 777s, Cathay Pacific operates 47 747-400s in both passenger and cargo versions. The airline also has ordered 10 Boeing 747-8 Freighters. The new cargo jet will augment the airline’s fleet of 25 747 Freighters used to connect Hong Kong to a wide range of international markets.
To date, 61 customers around the world have ordered more than 1,100 777s.
On September 16, 2010, Cathay Pacific Airways converted a previously signed letter of intent for 30 Airbus A350-900 widebodies into a firm order. The A350 XWB, as the all-new widebody family is known, is scheduled to make its initial entry into service in 2013.