Chris Jasper/HONG KONG

Cathay Pacific is studying all of the larger widebody types, including the planned Airbus A3XX, as potential replacements for its 19 Boeing 747-400s.

Tony Tyler, corporate development director at Hong Kong based Cathay, says it is evaluating long range Boeing 777s, including the planned General Electric GE90-powered -300X, and the rival Rolls-Royce Trent-powered Airbus A340-500/600, as well as the 580-seat A3XX and the 747-400, for which it holds six options (Flight International, 30 June-6 July). "A decision will not be taken before the end of this year," says Tyler.

He says he has reservations about taking more 747-400s, given the age of the design, but would be more enthusiastic about the aircraft if it were revamped to include 777 technology. GE's exclusive deal with Boeing to power the 777X has muddied the waters for Cathay.

Cathay operates 10 R-R Trent-powered 777-200/300s, as well as 12 Trent A330s and 11 CFM International CFM56-powered A340-300s. Tyler suggests the carrier would like to have had a choice between a Trent-powered 777X and the A340-500/600, which is offered only with the Trent, but says the GE/Boeing deal does not rule out the 777X.

Source: Flight International