Cathay Pacific Group signs MOU for 32 A321neo aircraft; DAE completes AWAS acquisition

Eleanor Steed
By Eleanor Steed August 22, 2017 11:36

Cathay Pacific Group signs MOU for 32 A321neo aircraft; DAE completes AWAS acquisition

Yesterday, Cathay Pacific Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus for 32 A321neo single-aisle aircraft. The aircraft will be operated by Cathay Dragon, the regional carrier of the Group, on services linking its Hong Kong home base with destinations across Asia.

The new A321neo aircraft will replace and modernise Cathay Dragon’s current in-service fleet of 15 A320s and eight A321s. The additional aircraft are intended to allow the airline to capture growth opportunities in the region. The Cathay Dragon network currently covers 56 Asian destinations, including 28 in mainland China.

Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Officer and Cathay Dragon Chairman Rupert Hogg said: “The Airbus fleet has been serving Cathay Dragon well over the decades. With the A321neo we expect to benefit from a very significant increase in operating efficiency, while increasing capacity in the Cathay Dragon network in order to expand our reach to more customers.”

He added: “The intention to purchase these 32 environmentally-friendly aircraft will allow us to add new destinations to Cathay Dragon’s network, increase frequency on some of our most popular routes and expand our network in the region in order to provide more travel choices and convenience to our customers.”

Cathay Dragon is an all Airbus operator, with a current fleet of 23 A320 Family aircraft and 24 widebody A330-300s. In addition, Cathay Pacific operates 37 A330-300s, making the Group the largest A330 operator in the Asia-Pacific region. Cathay Pacific also operates the all-new long haul A350 XWB, with 17 A350-900s already in service. The carrier has another 31 A350 XWBs on order for future delivery, including the A350-900 and larger A350-1000.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) completed the previously announced acquisition of the AWAS group of companies. With this deal, DAE Capital, the aircraft leasing business of DAE, will have an owned, managed and committed fleet of approximately 400 aircraft with a value of over $14 billion.

DAE Chief Executive Officer Firoz Tarapore said: “This acquisition of the best-in-class AWAS platform provides DAE with an enhanced market position. This combined with our capital strength and our committed long-term ownership will allow us to provide a more comprehensive range of aviation fleet and financing solutions to our clients across the globe. The senior management team, representing the best of AWAS and DAE, is now in place and focusing on the seamless integration of the businesses.”

Airline Economics reviewed the acquisition in the previous issue – click here for free access to Issue 37. To subscribe, click here.

Eleanor Steed
By Eleanor Steed August 22, 2017 11:36