Cathay Pacific Airways today announced that it has selected the all-new A350 XWB to form the backbone of its future mid-size widebody fleet, following the signature of a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Airbus for the order of 30 aircraft.
The Hong Kong-based airline has selected the A350-900 variant of the aircraft, which is capable of flying over 8,000 nautical miles non-stop. This will enable Cathay Pacific to operate the aircraft across its route network, including its non-stop flights to Europe and North America. The aircraft will be powered by two new generation Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.
"The A350-900 is a perfect fit for the development of our fleet. This is a mid-size long haul aircraft that is fuel efficient, and provides the kind of capacity, range and operating economics that we need to complement and enhance our existing fleet,” said Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Tony Tyler. “The delivery schedule fits our requirements very neatly. The 30 new aircraft will be deployed to replace older aircraft and grow our fleet to meet the challenges of the future.” He added: “The purchasing process has been a rigorous and competitive one which has produced the best result for Cathay Pacific at the end of the day."
“We are honoured that Cathay Pacific Airways as one of the most prestigious and well managed airlines in Asia has selected the all-new A350 XWB over the competitor’s offering. We are equally pleased to welcome Cathay Pacific as our first Chinese customer for the A350”, said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “The strength of our all-new, long-range, eco-efficient airliner has evidently ticked all the boxes in this very tough and professional evaluation. Offering a 25 per cent reduction in fuel-burn, the A350 XWB will enable Cathay Pacific to benefit from the lowest operating costs of any aircraft in this size category, while offering its passengers the highest levels of comfort and premium service for which the airline is renowned."
The A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) Family is an all-new mid-size long range product line comprising three basic passenger versions seating between 270 and 350 passengers in typical three-class layouts. Scheduled for entry-into-service in 2013, the A350 Family is already one of most successful aircraft programmes ever, with a total of 535 firm orders