31 October 2015

Does Cathay Pacific need additional A350 XWB?

Cathay´s A350 will arrive next Feb/2016 with 280-seat configuration featuring 38 New Business Class FB2+, 28 New Premium Economy and 214 New Long-haul Economy seats in addition to sporting a new corporate livery.

Source: Lee Halford

The New Business Class seat design customized by Porsche will incorporate a dimmable reading light.

The Panasonic eX3 inflight entertainment system (IFE) will have full-swipe capability similar to that seen on Qatar Airways’ and Finnair’s A350s.

Taking into consideration its tremendously successful Australian operation –at around 88% and 98% load factor during the Golden Week- the meaningful question is if Cathay needs more A350-900 than existing 22 units on order.

The A350 is uniquely suitable for replacing the 13 251-seat reconfigured A330-300s, with a 12.04% bigger Economy cabin.
Source: Travelling For Miles

This means that route groups are already clamouring for the 22 A350-900s, with the inaugural long-haul A350 service to Auckland in May/2016 taking up 2 aircraft, following regional familiarisation to Manila, Taipei, Singapore, Osaka Kansai, Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City.

Assuming 6 of the 13 long-haul A330-300s are replaced, this will already have taken up 8 A350-900s inclusive of the daily Auckland service, leaving 14 aircraft destined for the rationalisation of European network which currently takes precedence, or 7 destinations in both directions.

Source: andiation380

Further factoring in launches of new destinations such as Copenhagen and Seattle, as well as extra frequency opportunities such as making Düsseldorf or Manchester more than 4 times weekly with the smaller A350, it is very easy to see why the A350-900 is in high demand within Cathay. 

A potential workaround is to deploy the displaced 3-class 777-300ERs from Europe onto the Sydney and Melbourne routes, albeit the oneworld carrier is already studying the deployment of A350-900s to Australia in late-2016.

Based on the article “Cathay Pacific´s new livery signifies fresh direction” published in Aspire Aviation.


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  3. What a positive piece of news, good to hear the possibility of more orders for the A350. Is the A350 an option to replace the old 757? The reason I ask, is that I read a piece of news recently about Boeing thinking of building a twin isle replacement for the 757. Is there a Market for such an Aircraft and is the A350 to big to be considered?

  4. cont.
    I always thought the A321/neo or A323 were alternatives, with a possible market of 800-1000 Aircraft and even a extra one for Donald Trump! But the option of a twin isle for a single isle aircraft didn't even cross my mind. Is Boeing going mad or is this an astute way of introducing the single isle market towards the wide body market?