Cathay Pacific Airways’ Fleet Renewal and Expansion Amid Pandemic Recovery

Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways has announced that it is considering purchasing new mid-sized widebody aircraft to renew its fleet. The airline has reportedly sent a request for information to Airbus and Boeing for new aircraft that can replace some of its older mid-sized widebody jets. This move marks the first step in a potential purchase process. Cathay Pacific Airways has stated that it is looking for a versatile, mid-sized widebody aircraft that can perform a range of missions and help grow its passenger and cargo business.


In late 2022, Cathay Pacific Airways had first publicly mentioned the possibility of holding a mid-sized widebody contest. As of June 30, 2023, the airline had 43 A330s in its fleet with an average age of almost 15 years. The newer generation replacement options for the planes include Airbus A330neos and A350s, as well as Boeing 787s.


Last month, Cathay Pacific Airways placed a firm order to purchase six A350 freighters and has the option to acquire 20 more, as it replaces its aging Boeing 747 cargo jets. In September 2023, the airline also ordered 32 Airbus A320neo and A321neo single-aisle aircraft, expected to be delivered by 2029. Cathay Pacific Airways' order book currently has over 70 aircraft, including 21 Boeing 777-9 passenger planes scheduled to be delivered from 2025.

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Cathay Pacific Airways aims to rebuild its capacity to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2024. As of June 2023, its cargo operations were at 72% of 2019 capacity, and passenger capacity was at 57% of 2019 levels. The airline has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and its efforts to renew its fleet and expand its operations are aimed at recovering from the crisis.

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