Cathay Pacific reshuffles A321 orders to support recently acquired LCC

Fleet review sees Cathay group allocate half of its new A321s to HK Express and the other half to Cathay Dragon
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The Cathay Pacific Group will give half of its new A321 aircraft to its recently acquired low-cost carrier, HK Express, amid a fleet review designed to ‘maximise operational efficiency’.

One of the group’s carriers, Cathay Dragon, was due to start receiving 32 Airbus A321neos from 2020 but the group has now decided that 16 will be allocated to budget airline HK Express.

Cathay said that the move is designed to “maximise each airline’s operational efficiency and synergy”.

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The group has existing orders for 65 new aircraft that it will receive by 2024, as part of its fleet modernisation plan. This includes the delivery of 21 Boeing 777-9 aircraft, 12 modern Airbus A350 and 32 A321neo aircraft between 2020 and 2024.

Cathay Dragon will operate the first 16 of the A321neo aircraft upon delivery from 2020 to 2022. The remaining 16 aircraft, meanwhile, will join the HK Express fleet from 2022.

Cathay Pacific Group’s CEO, Augustus Tang, said: “We have four airlines in the group, each of them has its clear proposition. Cathay Pacific will continue to operate as an international full-service airline providing premium services to customers while Cathay Dragon is our regional full-service carrier.

“Meanwhile, HK Express will remain as a standalone, low-cost airline focusing on serving leisure travel destinations. AHK Air Hong Kong will continue to be the Group’s all-cargo carrier specialising in express cargo services.

“We will continue to invest in each of our airlines, their products and services. New aircraft are always the best platform to showcase our customer experience offerings which we are continuously enhancing in the spirit of our progressive and thoughtful ‘Move Beyond’ brand values. 

“Our goal is always to move people forward in life through our ability to connect them to meaningful people, places and experiences through our Hong Kong hub.”

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