Cathay plans to retire six more 747-400s next year

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Cathay Pacific Airways will retire 11 Boeing 747-400 passenger aircraft by the end of 2014, leaving it will a fleet of seven units.

The Hong-Kong based carrier is accelerating its 747 retirement phase and, at 24 June, it had retired four aircraft, according to its latest analyst presentation.

Cathay says it deregistered three 747-400s in the first half of 2013 and retired one aircraft in June.

Cathay had a 14-aircraft fleet at the end of June. The carrier will retire one more aircraft in October and another six in 2014.

During the first-half, Cathay took delivery of two Airbus A330-300s and three 777-300ERs. It plans to receive nine new passenger aircraft in the second half of this year, including six 777-300ERs and three Airbus A330-300s, as capacity for this year has been revised to a 1.7% contraction.

Plans for next year include the delivery of 14 new aircraft, with eight 777-300ERs, five A330-300s and two leased A321s.

On the freighter side, the carrier is also replacing its fleet with more fuel efficient aircraft. Cathay announced the acquisition of three 747-8 freighters in March in a deal that will see Boeing taking back four 747-400BCFs from the carrier. The transaction also include sthe cancellation of eight 777 freighters.

Cathay has already taken delivery of its first 747-8F and will receive another four aircraft of the type in the second half of this year.

The carrier says three out of four 747-400BCFs were deregistered. In first half 2013, the remaining aircraft will be sold to Boeing in August as part of the trade-in deal.