Cathay Pacific to buy Airbus A321neo jets in RM17.6b order

BEIJING • Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd agreed to purchase 32 Airbus SE single-aisle jets in an order worth US$4.1 billion (RM17.59 billion) as it seeks to upgrade and expand the fleet of its affiliate Cathay Dragon.

The Hong Kong carrier entered into a non-binding preliminary agreement to buy the A321-200neo aircraft, it said in a statement to the city’s stock exchange yesterday. The jets, scheduled to be delivered between 2020 and 2023, carry a list price of US$127 million each, excluding discounts that are customary for huge orders.

The airline, which last week reported its worst half-year loss in at least two decades, is in the middle of a corporate revamp that includes job cuts and measures to improve services. The new aircraft will replace Cathay Dragon’s 15 A320s and eight A321s, the airline said in a statement separately. Besides the 23 single-aisle jets, it also operates 24 wide-body A330s, serving 56 destinations in Asia.

“The substantial investment we are making in new aircraft underlines our confidence in the future  of the Cathay Pacific Group, as well as our commitment to bolstering Hong Kong’s position as Asia’s  largest international aviation hub,” CEO Rupert Hogg said in the statement.

The A321neo has a seating capa- city of up to 240 and has an extended range of up to 7,400km (4,600 miles), according to Airbus. — Bloomberg