Cathay Pacific will fly its Airbus A350s to new destinations in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, including New Zealand, says chief executive John Slosar.

Speaking to Flightglobal Pro at the Skytrax awards, held during the Paris air show, Slosar said he sees the aircraft as well suited to Cathay's network plans and frequency schedule, complementing a fleet soon to be bolstered by 26 Boeing 777s.

Slosar says Cathay's financial results have been hit hard by fuel costs during 2012 and 2013, but expects this to change with the arrival of new aircraft, particularly the Boeing twinjets, which are "just so much more efficient" than Cathay's older aircraft, including passenger Boeing 747s. Fleet renewal will "go some way" towards reducing the airline's fuel bill, he predicts.

He adds that "by this time next year we will no longer be flying [passenger] 747s on long-haul routes", marking the end of an era for one of the biggest operators of the jumbo.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news