A new fleet for Cathay Pacific likely soon

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  • cwoodward
    Participant

    Bloomberg quoted after an interview Cathay CEO Augustus Tang that the Hong Kong-based airline Cathay is actively considering renewal of its fleet now that there is some certainty about the opening of Hong Kong.

    Fleet renewal of its medium and shorter haul aircraft has in the past two or three years become urgent with many of its 50+ B777 fleet over 15 years and and several well over 20 and a large A330 40 strong now with an average age of over 13 years it needs to in short order strengthen the vitally important short- and medium-haul services around Asia down to Australia and to the sub continent.

    A new dispute between Airbus and Boeing could thus be triggered according to the Bloomberg report with Cathay having a history of supporting both makers and tension between Cathay and Boeing re the delivery lateness of the existing 777 order .

    Tang reportedly confirmed that the airline was indeed actively looking at going to the market with new orders but that
    “We have not come up with a decision as to when we will be going to the market, but this is a topic we are looking at very closely,” he added.
    While no details were released on the possible number or type of aircraft to be ordered there is some expectation that Cathay may place an order for (it is rumoured) a further 30 new aircraft possibly at Farnborough later this month.

    Cathay has outstanding orders for 21 of the 777X that is already years late and could well be cancelled, a further 6 A350s and the remaining 10 aircraft from the existing A321 order but nothing that will quickly replace the aged aircraft in the A330 and 777 fleets.

    Although Cathay are not known to place orders at air shows the need for some fleet renewal is indeed urgent as the continued use of the 40 strong A350 fleet for short and medium haul destinations and for freight that was appropriate during the pandemic is going forward not the optimum use of these large prestige aircraft that are now becoming again needed for there intended purpose on Cathays fast reviving long haul routes. .

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    tomyam42
    Participant

    I hope that they exclude any versions of the A330 from their consideration and I cannot imagine anyone building a new type of aircraft for them. That would seem to leave a competition between the 787 and a regional A350 a la SQ. I wonder if Airbus would consider offering a regional version of the A35K to replace the now very old 777-300s.


    cwoodward
    Participant

    I suspect that the A330-800 is an aircraft being considered given that it can seat over 350 in 3 cabin mode uses the latest RR Trent 7000 engines and has a range of just on 15000km. Given that it also has good freight capacity which is important to Cathay and which the B787 does not it must be a contender particularly as the 787 only seats about 230 passengers which is probably too small for Cathay, has no greater range and a smallish freight capacity I doubt that it is a serious contender unless it comes very cheap, which is of course possible as Boeing must be desperate for business.

    Of the existing A330 fleet a good number are under 10 years old and would presumably not be replaced in the next 5-7 years.

    I believe though that Cathay are likely to go for the A350 freighter as some of the freighter fleet is becoming elderly as are the A300 and A330 freighters of their Air Hong Kong freight subsidiary but perhaps not more A350s for the passenger fleet unless they decide to go for a few featuring 4 class with a first class cabin and very long haul ability.


    tomyam42
    Participant

    According to Airbus the A330-800 is the same size as an A330-200 and typically seats 220 to 260 passengers in 3 classes so I would not wish to fly in one with 350 seats. I believe that SQ’s 787-10s have 330 seats so I imagine 350 seats should be possible. I fear the greater number of seats might come from using something like the business class seats in the old 777-300s and the Dragonair A330s. I detested them and I certainly will always avoid the business seats that Cathay chose for its A321s. Once again SQ is showing that there is a market for those who rank comfort over cost. Cathay far too often wants to offer low cost airline service at premium airline prices.


    cwoodward
    Participant

    some of the size and capacity detail of the 80S from Airbus web site

    Range 15 094 km
    Dimensions
    Overall length 58.82 m

    Wing span (geometric) 64.00 m

    Pax Max seating 406
    Typical seating 260
    Cargo LD3 capacity underfloor 27
    Max pallet number underfloor 8+3 LD3


    cwoodward
    Participant

    The above aircraft should read A 330 -800

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