Cathay to retire A340s by 2017

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Cathay Pacific Airways will retire its remaining 11 Airbus A340-300s by the end of 2017 as it moves to streamline and modernise its fleet.

At the release of its first-half results, the airline said that it will first retire four A340s by the end of 2015, and for the remaining seven aircraft to leave its fleet by the end of 2017.

In addition to the A340 retirements, Cathay adds that six 747-400 Freighters will leave its fleet by 2016. Those aircraft are being sold to Boeing as part of an agreement last year to acquire three new 747-8Fs.

Over the first six months of 2014, the airline took delivery of two Boeing 777-300ERs, two A330-300s and one A321. The narrowbody aircraft is operated by its Dragonair subsidiary. It also retired two passenger 747-400s.

Cathay is expecting to take delivery of 11 new aircraft in the second half of the year, and to retire a further four 747-400s.

The airline adds that that new business, premium economy and economy seats have now been fitted across its long-haul fleet of 777-300ERs and A330s, while installation of new regional business class seats is nearly complete. An update to the first class seats on its 777s will be completed by March 2015.

Cathay recorded a 52% increase in operating profit over the first half of 2014, which it attributed to strong passenger demand on long-haul routes.