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Cathay Pacific Airways to expand fleet, announces profit increase

Cathay Pacific Airways recently announced an increase in profit by USD 1.7 million for 2010. Elated over its revenue growth, the airlines also disclosed that it had placed orders for 27 new aircrafts in a bid to increase its fleet. The airline in a statement said that it will order 15 Airbus A330-300s, 2 A350-900s and 10 Boeing B777-300s, which will be delivered by 2015.

With the addition of 10 Boeing B777-300, the airline will possess a total fleet of 46 Boeing B77-300 aircrafts. Similarly, the addition of 15 Airbus A330-300 will make the total of 32 such aircrafts. The remaining 2 A350-300 will be first of its kind to join the fleet of Cathay Pacific.

“Our plan is to retire our 21 B747-400 and 11 A340-300 aircraft before the end of the decade as we take delivery progressively of new generation aircraft that will provide much greater fuel and operating cost efficiencies. This is important both for environmental reasons and from a financial perspective as fuel remain our greatest single cost,” said Tony Tyler, chief executive of Cathay Pacific.

The carrier has also placed an order of around 30 aircrafts, which are scheduled to be delivered by 2016 and 2019. While making the fleet acquisition announcement, the airline also expressed its apprehensions over the global oil price rise.

"If fuel remains at this level or continues to rise, we can expect adverse effect on our profitability as fuel accounts for up to 40 percent of our operating costs," said Christopher Pratt, Cathay Pacific chairman.

Although the airline took measures last year regarding the oil price rise that resulted into a great loss, it will take precautions to ensure protection of 20 – 30 percent against the higher oil prices.

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