Cathay Pacific will transfer half of its 16 expected A321neo aircraft to its recently acquired budget carrier HK Express.

The group has ordered 32 A321neos that it expects to start receiving in 2020. Cathay Dragon will operate the first 16 of these narrow-body planes upon delivery from 2020 to 2022, while the remaining 16 aircraft will join the HK Express fleet from 2022.

The decision to move the planes to its other carriers came after a “comprehensive review of its airlines’ fleets”, according to a press release from Hong Kong’s flag carrier.

The group has existing orders for 65 new aircraft that it says it will receive by 2024 as part of its “fleet modernisation plan”. As well as the A321neos, Hong Kong’s flag carrier is also expecting the delivery of 21 Boeing 777-9 aircraft and 12 Airbus A350 between 2020 and 2024. The airline has ordered four A350-900s and eight A350-1000s, according to Airbus’ latest orders and deliveries report.

The A321neo, a single-aisle aircraft, is a member of the Airbus A320 family.

“Cathay Pacific will continue to operate as an international full-service airline providing premium services to customers while Cathay Dragon is our regional full-service carrier. Meanwhile, HK Express will remain as a standalone, low-cost airline focusing on serving leisure travel destinations,” said Cathay Pacific Group chief executive officer Augustus Tang.

In July, Cathay Pacific confirmed that it had acquired Hong Kong Express Airways (HK Express). HK Express, formerly a subsidiary of HNA Group, is a low-cost carrier that flies to 26 destinations in the Asia-Pacific region.

Cathay Dragon is a Hong Kong-based airline and a wholly owned subsidiary of Cathay Pacific. It has a fleet of 48 aircraft and flies to 48 cities across Asia.