Cathay Pacific Eyes A350 Freighter Order

Airbus' upcoming A350 Freighter rendering set to rival the 777-8F from Boeing

Cathay Pacific is closing in on selecting Airbus’ upcoming A350 Freighter for its future freight needs, per Reuters.

Cathay Pacific Eyes A350 Freighter

A deal could be worth around six total units for a plane yet to be certified, as Airbus announced its intent to compete against Boeing in the sector through this A350F

While there have been concerns about the demand for air freight, Cathay believes it is still vitally important to the company.

Adding the Airbus A350 Freighter would additionally only increase the competitiveness of the European plane maker in a sector in which it has struggled to succeed.

Switching From Boeing To Airbus?

In March 2023, Reuters reported that Cathay Pacific was closing in on a deal with Boeing and their newly launched 777-8F.

At the time, the expectation was that Boeing would lead the way in securing a deal Cathay says would replace its Boeing 747s.

If it had been struck with Boeing, a deal would’ve ensured the company stayed with the American plane maker for freighter needs.

However, after reviewing the offerings, per the latest reports, Airbus is now leading the way for a contract that would see the Cathay Group make the switch.

The Upcoming Next-Generation Freighters

Airbus and Boeing will lock horns across the coming decades with their newly announced next-generation freighter offerings.

Notably, the first released will be Airbus’ A350 Freighter, announced not long ago to better compete with Boeing.

Awaiting further clarity from the certification of its passenger variants, Boeing’s 777-8F will be the direct competitor to the A350F.

On almost every occasion, these two variants will be put forward to interested parties in the hopes, at least for Airbus, of a more competitive landscape.

While similar, each aircraft offers customers something different, from the available range to the payload. Additionally, what deals customers can get on the said planes will play a part, too.

Analysing Cathay Cargo’s Fleet

Cathay Pacific’s Cargo division currently operates exclusively with Boeing 747 Freighters.

Per the latest data, the group flies a total of 6 747-400Fs, with these averaging an age of 14.9 years.

Interestingly, however, the group also has 747-8 Freighrers at its disposal, with 14 active units averaging an age of 10.8 years.

As a result, the six A350 Freighters proposed in the deal would be utilised to replace these ageing 747-400Fs.

Daniel Fowkes
28 Nov 2023
· Aircraft 
· Freight 

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