CATHAY Pacific Airways has made a firm order for 10 Airbus A350-1000 planes worth HK$25.6 billion (US$3.17 billion).
In addition, the Hong Kong flag carrier will convert 16 of its existing orders for the A350-900 to the larger A350-1000.
The acquisition of the A350-1000s, subject to the approval of the Cathay Pacific board, will bring the total number of A350 Xtra Wide-Body (XWB) aircraft ordered by the airline to 48.
The largest version of the A350 XWB family, the A350-1000 typically seats 350 passengers in a three-class layout, and is capable of flying about 13,500 km non-stop. Cathay Pacific will operate the aircraft on higher density routes, including its longest direct flights to Europe and North America.
“This is an important and strategic development for Cathay Pacific,” said John Slosar, chief executive, Cathay Pacific Airways. “The A350-1000 aircraft's improved payload and range will allow us to connect more and more important cities worldwide directly with Hong Kong.”
Meanwhile, Airbus chief executive, Fabrice Bregier, revealed that there may be delays to the delivery of its A350 aircraft – scheduled to enter service from mid-2014.