Hong Kong’s flagship carrier Cathay Pacific Airways has indicated it is currently into talks with aircraft maker Airbus Group SE regarding the purchase of newest wide-body Airbus A350 aircraft so that it can introduce flights to new destinations and carry more passengers.
Media reports said that the airline has already placed orders for 48 Airbus A350 aircrafts. With the purchase of the new A350 Cathay Pacific Airways will be able to launch nonstop flights to Miami from Hong Kong.
Ivan Chu, Chief Executive Officer of Cathay Pacific Airways, said, “The airline has already taken the delivery of the first of 22 Airbus A350-900 aircrafts, configured with 325 seats. The company is also in the process of buying 26 Airbus A350-1000 aircrafts, configured with 366 seats. The company is looking forward to acquire even bigger aircraft from Airbus family, which is dubbed A350-8000, and comes with more seats than others.”
Chu further said that while the airline will be using the Airbus A350-1000 aircrafts for serving the east and west coasts of the United States, it doesn’t have the capacity to conduct nonstop flights to Miami or other potential destinations in Latin America.
Currently, Boeing 777-300ER aircrafts form the backbone of Cathay Pacific Airways’ long-haul fleet. The airline has 53 Boeing 777-300ER aircrafts in its fleet. It has also placed orders for 21 next-generation Boeing 777-9X aircrafts.
According to the reports, the airline is presently not interested in buying Airbus A380 superjumbo aircrafts, which is configured with 525 seats. The airline’s decision is based on the simple fact that the high-frequency timetables it wants to attract corporate travelers doesn’t favor it now.
Meanwhile, Fabrice Bregier, Chief Executive of Airbus, while speaking to mediapersons said that it is still studying the proposal from Cathay Pacific Airways. The assessment will be on to ascertain whether the current demand is sufficient enough so as to merit a huge investment in a bigger Airbus A350 aircrafts. The company’s decision therefore isn’t likely to come anytime soon.