Cathay Pacific Airways has helped end an order drought for Airbus’ recently redesigned A350-1000s, bloomberg.com reports.
The Hong Kong-based airline announced its intentions to order 10 A350-1000 jets while attending the second day of the Farnborough Air Show in Hampshire, UK. It also said it is to convert 16 of the 36 A350-900 jets it already has on order.
The move, estimated to cost Cathay around $4.2 billion (£2.7 billion), will be the first A350-1000s on order in 18 months following Airbus’ decision to install newer, more powerful engines, supplied by Rolls Royce.
As live flight tracking watchers will know, Airbus’ 350-seat passenger jet has been notably absent in the sky thanks to the success of Boeing’s impressive long-range 777 twinjet.
Several Middle-Eastern airlines, including Emirates and Qatar Airways, have been critical of the A350-1000’s previous model, prompting Airbus to step up its game.
Airbus chief Fabrice Bregier insists that lessons have been learned and promises that the new A350-1000s will be a “game changer”, according to flightglobal.com.
“As an all-new design, it will outperform existing aircraft in its size category on every count – as well as any future derivatives of those aircraft,” he said.
Cathay will receive its A350-1000s in 2018, up to a dozen months after they enter general service in mid-2017.