Cathay Pacific defers A350 and A321neo deliveries, plans to defer Boeing 777-9s

Jul 22, 2020

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Cathay Pacific reached a deal with Airbus on Wednesday to delay the delivery of its order of A350s and A321neos. The airline is also in talks with Boeing to defer the delivery of its 777-9 order in order to preserve cash.

Reuters reports the Airbus deferrals are for orders of a total of 65 aircraft as per an investor presentation that the airline made in November 2019. The order of 12 A350s, originally due to arrive in 2020 and 2021, are now scheduled to arrive from 2020 up to 2023. The 32 A321neos were originally scheduled to be delivered from 2020 to 2023, but this has been extended further from 2020 to 2025.

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A new delivery date has not yet been agreed for the 21 Boeing 777-9s, which were originally scheduled for 2024. The 777-9 is the larger of the two “777X” variants Boeing has planned as part of its update to the widebody workhorse. The first of those variants, the 777-9, flew for the first time in Washington state in January.

As for Cathay Pacific, its order shake-up comes as the airline industry is suffering through the most significant downturn in demand since 9/11. As such, airlines around the world, especially weaker airlines or those that were already struggling before the pandemic hit, are having to make aircraft, route and staff cuts to save money and stay afloat.

In-depth: The Boeing 777 turns 25: All about the new Boeing 777X

“This deferral of deliveries is expected to produce cash savings to the Cathay Pacific Group in the short to medium term,” the airline said in a prospectus with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

In April, the airline announced that it would reduce some fuel charges, which was ultimately good news for Cathay Pacific enthusiasts who book award tickets through American Airlines, Asia Miles and/or British Airways Executive Club.

Related: Stellar Service: Cathay Pacific (777-300ER) in Economy from Los Angeles to Hong Kong

Featured image by Riik@mctr/Flickr

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