Hong Kong Aviation Capital (HKAC) signed (20-Jun-2013) a MoU with Airbus for the purchase of 40 A320neo and 20 A321neo aircraft. HKAC CEO Donal Boylan said: “All of our business over the last two years has been sale and lease backs of Airbus A320 and A330 aircraft. We are proud to now extend this relationship directly with Airbus, and in particular to participate in the already proven success of the A320neo order book. This is our first direct order with any aircraft manufacturer and our first commitment for the A320neo". [more - original PR] [more - original PR - German]
Hong Kong Aviation Capital signs order for 60 A320neo family aircraft
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Cathay Pacific ends 747 flights, its future defined not by 777s/A350s but by diversifying
For 37 years the Boeing 747 brought Cathay Pacific to the world. As it did for so many operators, the 747 transformed Cathay into a global airline. Cathay's final passenger 747 flight was on 01-Oct-2016. The occasion is filled with sentiment and the usual remarks of being the end of an era; the aircraft of course is iconic, and Cathay, which turned 70 in Sep-2016, has known the 747 for longer than it has not.
Yet the 747 era at Cathay ended long ago. The 747 gave Cathay a global footprint, but this is true for most current and former 747 operators. Cathay's position today against competitors is defined not by network reach but rather – depth. Mainland Chinese airlines, some of Cathay's closest competitors, know they have the local market and lower costs but acknowledge the one-stop challenge Cathay brings with hyperfrequency and a stronger product/brand.
That depth and domination, especially in the key North American market, was achieved with the 777-300ER. Cathay operates 53 777-300ERs – more than twice the 24 747-400s the airline had at its peak. Although A350s are arriving, Cathay's next evolution is defined not by aircraft and flying but rather by bringing new non-flying businesses into the group. For aviation this is seen as a partial surrender to competition. For the company it is a graduation to consistent and higher profits. As with the 747, it is time to move on and pursue a more productive future.
Cebu Pacific Air to deploy additional A330s on regional routes, delaying long haul network expansion
Cebu Pacific Air has delayed plans to launch Honolulu and Melbourne or other new long haul routes. The Philippine LCC will instead use two recently acquired additional A330-300s on regional routes, enabling it to utilise slots better at its congested Manila hub.
Cebu Pacific is already using the equivalent of two of its six A330s on domestic and regional international routes. The decision to allocate another two widebody aircraft to short haul routes supplements a similar strategy to transition its narrowbody fleet to larger-gauge aircraft.
The group has 32 A321neos on order – to be delivered from 2017 and used to replace smaller A320s. Cebu Pacific is also now in the process of phasing out its A319 fleet and aims to shift some of its Manila-based ATR 72 turboprops to secondary bases.