Cathay Dragon has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), preparatory to executing formal legal documentation, for the acquisition of 32 Airbus A321neo aircraft. The MOU, signed today between the Cathay Pacific Group and Airbus in Toulouse, France, is valued at approximately HK$31.7 billion at current list prices. It is intended to see Cathay Dragon’s single-aisle fleet replaced and expanded from 2020.
The new aircraft, which are scheduled to be delivered between 2020 and 2023, are intended to replace Cathay Dragon’s existing single-aisle fleet of 23 aircraft, comprising 15 Airbus A320s and eight Airbus A321s. The airline, which also operates 24 wide-body Airbus A330s, serves 56 destinations in Asia, including 28 cities in mainland China.
Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Officer and Cathay Dragon Chairman Rupert Hogg said: “Cathay Dragon is committed to providing customers with a superior travel experience while at the same time enhancing the efficiency of its operations. We look forward to introducing the aircraft into our fleet and expanding the reach of the Cathay Pacific Group to more customers.
“The intention to purchase these 32 environmentally-friendly aircraft will allow us to add new destinations to Cathay Dragon’s network. We also intend to increase frequencies on some of our most popular routes in order to provide our customers with more travel choices and convenience. Having focused on modernising and expanding Cathay Pacific’s long-haul fleet in recent times, this is an exciting new chapter for Cathay Dragon following last year’s rebranding to enhance a seamless travel experience for our customers.
“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 as we bring new connectivity to and from our home.”
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 for airlines in the middle-of-the-market segment.
“The A321neo offers the lowest possible 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.”
According to Airbus’ design specifications, the A321neo has a seating capacity of up to 240 passengers and has an extended range of up to 6,850 km. When delivered, the aircraft will feature Cathay Dragon’s latest cabins, seats and inflight entertainment options.
According to Airbus, the aircraft also shows impressive figures in terms of noise reduction, up to 50 per cent less than that of the current A321 aircraft.