Cathay Pacific Airways today announced that it intends to add the A350-1000 to its future A350 XWB fleet, with an agreement to place a new order for 10 aircraft. In addition, the Hong Kong-based airline will convert 16 of its existing orders for the A350-900 to the larger A350-1000. The acquisition of the A350-1000, which is subject to the approval of the Board of the airline, will bring the total number of A350 XWB aircraft ordered by Cathay Pacific to 48. The airline also has separate lease agreements to acquire two more aircraft.
The A350-1000 is the largest version of the A350 XWB family and typically seats 350 passengers in a three class layout. The aircraft is capable of flying 8,400 nautical miles non-stop and will be operated by Cathay Pacific on higher density routes, including its longest non-stop flights to Europe and North America. The aircraft will be powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines delivering 97,000lbs of thrust – the most powerful engines ever developed for an Airbus aircraft.
“This is an important and strategic development for Cathay Pacific. The A350-1000 aircraft will bring us world-beating fuel efficiency and environmental friendliness” said John Slosar, Chief Executive, Cathay Pacific Airways. “It will also be a very popular aircraft with our customers and its improved payload and range will allow us to connect more and more important cities worldwide directly with Hong Kong.”
“This announcement from one of the world’s most highly respected airlines is a clear endorsement of the unbeatable operating economics offered by the A350-1000,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President & CEO. “The A350-1000 will be a game changer in the 350-seat category, offering outstanding payload-range capability and a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn. As an all-new design, it will outperform existing aircraft in its size category on every count, as well as any future derivatives of those aircraft.”
The A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) Family is an all-new mid-size long range product line comprising three versions seating between 270 and 350 passengers in typical three-class layouts. Scheduled for entry-into-service in 2014, the A350 XWB is already one of most successful aircraft programmes ever, with a total of 548 firm orders already received from 34 customers worldwide.