By Nicholas Ionides in Singapore

Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways has ordered six Boeing 747-400ER freighters in what it says is its biggest ever single commitment for new cargo aircraft.

The Oneworld alliance carrier says in a statement that the six new-build extended-range freighters are scheduled for delivery between May 2008 and April 2009.

It says the 747-400ERFs will be powered by Pratt & Whitney PW4062A engines and will be used on key North American routes “to take full advantage of their superior payload range capability”.

Cathay’s freighter fleet currently comprises 14 747 cargo aircraft, specifically one 747-400 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF), six 747-400Fs (pictured below) and seven 747-200Fs. It has committed to adding at least five more 747-400BCFs, which are being converted from passenger configuration at Taikoo (Xiamen) Aircraft Engineering in China. It also has options on another six 747-400 conversions.

Cathay Cargo 747-400 F W445
© Simon Willson / 

“Cargo is a major contributor to our continued growth, and we are committed to expanding our freighter fleet to ensure it plays a key role in the future of both Cathay Pacific and Hong Kong as a leading cargo hub,” says chief executive Philip Chen.

Meanwhile Air Macau has set a new target for getting Airbus A300-600s, which will be used to replace its A300B4 freighters on wet-lease.

A senior official at Air Macau says it now has one A300-600 and plans to have a total of five on dry-leases by 2007 although achieving this target “depends on the availability of such aircraft”.

This means Air Macau has accelerated its programme for getting A300-600s because in November 2005 chief executive David Fei announced it wanted six A300-600Fs on dry-lease by the end of 2010.

For more news and information about Boeing 747 orders and production please visit our 747 page

Source: Flight International