Cathay Pacific is moving to retire all its Airbus A340-300s by the end of 2017, as it prepares to take A350-900s in quick succession over the next two years.
In the release of its first-half results, the Hong Kong carrier says it has retired two A340s so far this year, and will retire another in the second half of the year. The four remaining A340s will be retired in 2017.
The airline has meanwhile been busy adding A350s, having already taken delivery of three of the widebodies since May, and with nine more due for the rest of the year. Ten more of the type are scheduled to be delivered in 2017.
“The A350-900XWBs are fuel efficient and have the right range, capacity and operating economics for our requirements,” it adds.
The Oneworld airline will retire its last three 747-400 passenger aircraft by October. It has also delivered two 747 freighters to Boeing this year, and will hand over the final two in August and September. These aircraft were sold to Boeing as part of an order for three 747-8Fs, which have already been delivered to Cathay.
As of 30 June, Cathay operated a fleet of 145 aircraft, about half of which are owned, comprising of A330s, A340s, A350s, 747s and 777s. It has firm orders for 12 aircraft in 2016, with no leases due this year.
The Cathay Pacific Group's operating profit for the first half of the year plunged 71.9% to HK$664 million ($85.6 million), impacted by intense competition and downward pressure on yields, as well as a hefty loss on fuel hedging. Attributable net profit also fell 82% to HK$353 million.