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Cathay Pacific orders 27 widebodies

Cathay Pacific Airways is to add 27 widebodies worth HK$51 billion ($6.55 billion) at list prices to its fleet under agreements inked with Airbus, Boeing and International Lease Finance (ILFC).

The Hong Kong-based carrier announced today it is acquiring an additional 15 A330-300s and 10 more 777-300ERs direct from the manufacturers, and taking an extra pair of A350-900s under a deal with ILFC. The airline says it will take delivery of all of the aircraft before the end of 2015.

The latest orders follow deals announced by Cathay in September for 30 A350-900s to be delivered from 2016 to 2019 and six 777-300ERs to be delivered between 2013-2014.

Cathay says today's new orders will "enable the airline to replace older, less fuel-efficient aircraft as they are progressively retired from the fleet and at the same time continue with the expansion of its passenger network".

Cathay says it now has a total of 91 new aircraft on order for delivery by 2019.

"Both the A330-300 and the 777-300ER are modern, fuel efficient aircraft that have already proved their value in our fleet," says Cathay chief executive Tony Tyler.

"Our plan is to retire our 21 747-400 and 11 A340-300 aircraft before the end of the decade... This is important both for environmental reasons and from a financial perspective as fuel remains our greatest single cost," he adds.

The 15 new A330-300s will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines.

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