Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways has ordered five more Boeing 777-300ERs, increasing its firm lease and purchase commitments to 23.

The Oneworld alliance carrier says in a statement that the five additional twinjets will be delivered in 2011 and they will be used mainly for long-haul services to Europe and North America.

Cathay placed its first orders for 777-300ERs late in 2005, when it committed to acquiring 12 on purchase arrangements from Boeing and another four on lease from International Lease Finance.

Last year it exercised purchase rights on two more, lifting its firm lease and purchase commitments to 18.

Deliveries of Cathay’s first 777-300ERs are due to begin next month. The aircraft are powered exclusively by General Electric GE90 engines.

“The fleet expansion is in line with our plan to expand our network and connectivity, in the process further strengthening Cathay Pacific’s position as Hong Kong’s home carrier and cementing the city’s status as a leading international aviation hub,” says CEO Tony Tyler.

Cathay also has orders outstanding for four Airbus A330-300s and six Boeing 747-400ER freighters. In addition, it has two more 747-400 passenger aircraft due to be converted into freighters.

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Source: FlightGlobal.com