Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific has joined the ranks of carriers opting for the A350F, finalising a purchase agreement with Airbus for six of these cutting-edge freighters. The A350F is slated to integrate seamlessly into the airline’s cargo division, Cathay Cargo, emerging as a pivotal asset in its future fleet and delivering heightened efficiency throughout its extensive network.
Currently in the developmental phase, the A350F boasts a payload capacity of up to 111 tonnes and a range of 4,700 nautical miles (8,700 kilometres) at a significantly reduced operational cost compared to existing freighter options. This versatility positions the A350F to cater to various heavy cargo markets, including the prominent Hong Kong to Anchorage route, which stands as one of the world’s largest freight corridors.
Ronald Lam, Chief Executive Officer of Cathay Group, expressed the significance of this strategic move: “As we move into 2024, our rebuild journey is gaining momentum. This order marks another major component in our investment for the future. It reflects Cathay’s confidence in the Hong Kong hub as we look ahead to the opportunities provided by the three-runway system.”
Powered by latest-technology Rolls-Royce Trent-XWB97 engines, the aircraft will bring a reduction in fuel consumption and carbon emissions of up to 40% when compared with the older 747F and at least 20% more efficient.
Cathay is already one of the largest operators of the A350, with a current fleet of 47 aircraft. These include both the A350-900 and A350-1000 aircraft, which are primarily operated on the carrier’s long haul route network.