Cathay Pacific is still open to adding the Airbus A380 superjumbo to its fleet for long-haul and ultra long-haul routes to Australia, the US and Europe.
Speaking at the overnight launch of the Hong Kong flag-carrier’s new business class seating and cabin, current Chief Operating Officer and incoming CEO John Slosar admitted that if airport congestion continued to rise the airline might reconsider placing an order for the superjumbo.
For the moment Slosar says he’s more than happy with the current fleet of long-range Boeing 777s and the advance order for thirty Airbus A350s which will enter service from 2016.
But Slosar, like outgoing CEO Tony Tyler, cannily hedged his bets. “We are continually looking at our fleet and how the markets are developing.”
Earlier this year Tyler sang from the same page, saying “I wouldn’t rule out the airline becoming a customer (for the A380) at some point.”
Cathay Pacific opted for the Boeing 777-300ER as its primary long-haul aircraft both for its superior fuel efficiency and lower running costs over the aging Boeing 747 fleet as well as its greater cargo capacity compared to the A380.
Cathay may eventually consider adding the A380, the world’s largest passenger plane, Tyler said in a Bloomberg TV interview. The carrier has so far favored the 777s because of their greater cargo capacity. In the meantime, the 777-300ER is the natural replacement for the original jumbo.
In 2016 Cathay will receive its first of thirty Airbus A350-900s. Like the Boeing 787 Dreamliner the A350 is a composite-based widebody jetliner and seats 314 passengers in a standard three-class cabin.
Cathay Pacific isn’t the only carrier betting big on the A350, as Emirates has a massive order for 70 on the books.
About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.