TOULOUSE: 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 on August 21 between the Cathay Pacific Group and Airbus in Toulouse, France, is valued at approximately HK$31.7 billion at current list prices.
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, currently serves 56 destinations in Asia, including 28 cities in mainland China.
Rupert Hogg, Chief Executive Officer, Cathay Pacific and Chairman, Cathay Dragon said, “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.”
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% less than that of the current A321 aircraft.
John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer, Customers, Airbus 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.”