Cathay Pacific orders six Airbus A350F freighters, secures option for 20 more – Cathay Cargo, the cargo division of Cathay Pacific Airways, has placed an order for six Airbus A350F freighters, with an option to purchase an additional 20 aircraft. According to the company, this purchase is a significant investment that aims to strengthen its position as a leading global air cargo carrier and solidify Hong Kong's status as a major air cargo hub.

Handout photo from Airbus

The A350F is a brand-new freighter model currently under development. With a maximum payload of 111 tonnes and a range of 4,700 nautical miles, the aircraft is capable of serving key cargo routes worldwide, including the busy Hong Kong-Anchorage corridor.

Cathay Group Chief Executive Officer Ronald Lam stated, "As we move into 2024, our rebuild journey is gaining momentum. This order marks another major component in our investment for the future. It reflects Cathay’s confidence in the Hong Kong hub as we look ahead to the opportunities provided by the Three-Runway System."

The new A350 freighters will enable Cathay Pacific to reach long-haul destinations in the Americas and Europe from Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland.

Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International Christian Scherer expressed his satisfaction with Cathay's decision, stating, "There's a new standard in the cargo space and we are gratified that such a savvy global air-cargo operator as Cathay has joined the growing number of reference players in the air-freight industry selecting the A350F."

The A350F is powered by the latest Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines, which offer significant fuel efficiency and lower carbon emissions compared to older models. Additionally, its design features the largest main deck cargo door in the industry and utilizes advanced materials for a lighter weight, contributing to its operational efficiency.

Cathay Cargo currently operates a fleet of 20 Boeing 747 freighters. The A350F deliveries are expected to commence in 2027. However, the total value of the order remains undisclosed.