Cathay Pacific Group has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus for 32 A321neo single-aisle aircraft. The aircraft will be operated by Cathay Dragon, the regional carrier of the Group, on services linking its Hong Kong home base with destinations across Asia.
The new A321neo aircraft will replace and modernise Cathay Dragon’s current in-service fleet of 15 A320s and eight A321s, with the additional aircraft allowing the airline to capture growth opportunities in the region. The Cathay Dragon network currently covers 56 Asian destinations, including 28 in mainland China.
Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Officer and Cathay Dragon Chairman Rupert Hogg said: “The Airbus fleet has been serving Cathay Dragon well over the decades. With the A321neo we expect to benefit from a very significant increase in operating efficiency, while increasing capacity in the Cathay Dragon network in order to expand our reach to more customers.”
He added: “The intention to purchase these 32 environmentally-friendly aircraft will allow us to add new destinations to Cathay Dragon’s network, increase frequency on some of our most popular routes and expand our network in the region in order to provide more travel choices and convenience to our customers.”
John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers said: “Airbus is proud to have been selected to supply Cathay Dragon’s future single-aisle fleet. This is another major endorsement of the A321neo as the aircraft of choice in the middle-of-the-market segment.”
“The A321neo offers the lowest operating costs, longest range capability and most spacious cabin in its class. It will be the perfect aircraft for Cathay Dragon as it builds on its success as one of Asia’s leading regional carriers.”
Cathay Dragon is an all Airbus operator, with a current fleet of 23 A320 Family aircraft and 24 widebody A330-300s. In addition, Cathay Pacific operates 37 A330-300s, making the Group the largest A330 operator in the Asia-Pacific region. Cathay Pacific also operates the all-new long haul A350 XWB, with 17 A350-900s already in service. The carrier has another 31 A350 XWBs on order for future delivery, including the A350-900 and larger A350-1000.
The A321 is the largest member of the A320 Family and seats up to 240 passengers, depending on cabin configuration. Incorporating the latest engines, aerodynamic advances and cabin innovations, the A321neo offers a reduction in fuel consumption of up to 20 per cent per seat and can fly up to 4,000 nautical miles (7,400 kilometres) non-stop – further than any other single-aisle airliner.
The A320 Family is the world’s best-selling single-aisle product line and comprises four models (A318, A319, A320, A321) seating from 100 to 240 seats. To date, the Family has won over 13,200 orders and more than 7,700 aircraft have been delivered to some 400 customers and operators worldwide.