NEW YORK (AP) – Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. has no plans to buy either of the leading aircraft makers’ newest models in the near future, the carrier’s chief executive said Tuesday.
Hong Kong’s flagship airline is in talks with both Airbus and Boeing about possible aircraft orders regarding a ‘business as usual’ fleet expansion, Chief Executive Tony Tyler said in an interview with The Associated Press.
But the carrier is likely to stick with plane types it already operates, he said, rather than follow Asian competitors with orders for two high-profile models scheduled for widespread delivery: the Boeing 787 Dreamliner or the double-decker Airbus A380 superjumbo.
‘We are not in the market for any of the new aircraft at the moment,’ Tyler said during a visit here to promote expanded North American service to Hong Kong.
Cathay’s fleet of 106 wide-body aircraft is among the industry’s youngest. The carrier operates Boeing 747s, 777s and Airbus A330 and A340 planes.
Singapore Airlines became the first customer to begin flying the A380, the world’s largest passenger plane, with an inaugural flight last week. The carrier has ordered 19 of the aircraft, which suffered from about two years of delays.
Boeing earlier this month postponed delivery of the first 787s by at least six months because of problems with its supply chain. Japan’s All Nippon Airways Co., which has ordered for 50 of the planes, is scheduled to receive the first batch.
While Tyler said Cathay was unlikely to place an order for either aircraft this year or next, he did not rule out purchasing either model down the road.
‘We keep close tabs on the development of both planes,’ he said.
The airline recently received two of 23 Boeing 777-300 Extended Range planes it has on order. Its initial request for 12 of the planes in 2005 was the company’s biggest single airplane order ever.
Cathay Pacific flies to 104 destinations in 35 countries. It is adding flights to New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Shares of Chicago-based Boeing rose 34 cents to close at $97.33.
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