Cathay Pacific has welcomed the first of 20 Airbus A350-1000s to join its fleet, flying to Hong Kong from Toulouse using a blend of biofuel.
Eight of the aircraft will be delivered this year with the remainder arriving by 2021.
After initial rounds of regional services starting with the first commercial flight to Taipei, Taiwan on 1 July, the A350-1000 will launch Cathay Pacific’s new service to Washington DC on 15 September.
The aircraft ill also serve Madrid, Tel Aviv, Amsterdam, Manchester and Zurich for the winter.
Cathay Pacific chief customer and commercial officer, Paul Loo says: “We already have one of the youngest long-haul fleets in the sky, and with the arrival of the A350-1000, our fleet is only going to get younger.”
He says the -1000 is very similar to the -900 with a long range, high fuel efficiency and low noise, providing attractive operating economics.
The airline also has 22 A350-900s, and Cathay Pacific has used them on a number of new routes including Barcelona, Spain; Brussels, Belgium; Christchurch, New Zealand; Copenhagen, Denmark; London Gatwick, UK; Tel Aviv, Israel; and most recently Dublin in Ireland, with Cape Town, South Africa services to be launched in November.
Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon had a strong month in May, with cargo and mail increasing 8.2 per cent year-on-year to 175,074 tonnes.
Cathay Pacific director commercial and cargo, Ronald Lam says: “In terms of cargo, we had stable uplift in May. Higher transhipment flow across the network helped improve our load factor, while yield also strengthened. Our new European routes to Brussels, Copenhagen and Dublin were all launched smoothly and are performing in line with our expectations.”
In the first five months of 2018, the two airlines carried 857,897 tonnes of cargo and mail, an increase of 7.9 per cent compared to 2017.