Home' Asian Aviation : AAV September 2011 Contents Cathay Pacific has entered into an agreement
with Boeing for the acquisition of four 777-
300ER widebody twinjets and eight 777-200
Delivery is slated for June 2013 through to
October 2016 and Cathay has opted for General
Electric GE90 engines.
The Hong Kong-based airline currently
operates 22 777-300ERs on its key long-haul
routes and with the latest order will have
outstanding orders for another 28. Cathay will
retire 21 ageing 747-400s and 13 Airbus A340-
300 jetliners before the end of the decade as it
takes delivery of new-generation aircraft.
The 777-200F will be a new aircraft type for
Cathay. The aircraft will be used to expand the
company’s cargo fleet and replace the older 747-
400BCF converted freighters.
The carrier now operates 21 widebody
freighters. Two 747-400BCFs will be sold to
the airline’s cargo joint venture with Air China,
following the earlier sale of another two. One
freighter will be dry-leased to Cathay’s Air Hong
Cathay’s freighter fleet is expected to number
35 by 2016. The airline is investing HK$5.5
billion (US$706 million) to build a cargo terminal
at Hong Kong International Airport, which is
expected to be operational in 2013.
Meanwhile, despite an increase in turnover,
Cathay’s profit for the first six months of the
year slipped 58.9 percent, compared with
the same period in 2010, falling to HK$2.81
billion. Cathay attributes the drop to increased
fuel prices and rising operational costs. Fuel
expenditure, the group’s biggest single cost, rose
by 49.5 percent to HK$6.46 billion.
Revenue jumped 13.2 percent to HK$46.79
billion with passenger revenue accounted for
HK$31.77 billion, an increase of 15.9 percent.
Capacity increased 9.8 percent with Cathay and
Dragon Air carrying 13.2 million passengers.
The Japanese earthquake and tsunami in
March significantly hurt the group’s most
important market. Cathay said that in June
it saw some recovery on routes to Japan, but
this was traffic remains below pre-earthquake
levels. Also in June, the carrier introduced
flights to Abu Dhabi and plans to launch
services to Chicago in September.
The carrier took delivery of six new aircraft
during the first half, with another eight to be
delivered by the end of this year.
Cathay Chairman Christopher Pratt says
that, despite the uncertainty and challenges
ahead, the carrier remains confident of its
position and the ability to compete in the
market. – William Dennis
Cathay Pacific orders 12 Boeing 777s
Chinese budget carrier Spring Airlines has
firmed-up plans for an initial public offering
(IPO) in the first quarter of 2012.
Pending approval from the China Securities
Regulatory Commission, the stock market
regulator, the airline will be listed on the
Shanghai Stock Exchange. It hopes to raise
US$1.2 billion to help fund new aircraft
If the carrier, which is based at Shanghai
Hongqiao International Airport, secures the
approval, it will become China’s fifth listed
airline. The others are Air China, China
Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines and
Spring Airlines, which operates 24
Airbus A320 aircraft, says it hopes to
double its fleet by 2015. It has moderated its
previously stated goal of expanding to 100
According to Spring Airlines President Wang
Zhenghua, the carrier’s expansion has been
disrupted by the rapid expansion of bullet-
train services, which are designed to carry
80 million passengers a year. In addition, a
shortage of qualified pilots, which is affecting
all Chinese carriers, means the airline is
unable to expand its domestic network as fast
it would like, Wang says.
According to the airline chief, the Beijing-
Shanghai high-speed train service will badly
affect airlines operating on the route. Eight
carriers operate a total of 38 daily services
between the key Chinese cities.
Spring Airlines operates to 23 domestic and
three international destinations, including
Hong Kong, Macau and Ibaraki in Japan. It
plans to introduce flights to South Korea and
South-East Asia, as well as penetrating the
Japanese market further with the acquisition
of new aircraft.
The International Air Transport Association
(IATA) said in February that there would
probably be 800 million new travellers a year
by 2014, 181 million of which will be from
China’s booming domestic market. Another
33 million will be flying on international
routes to or from China.
Spring Airlines, a wholly-owned subsidiary
of Shanghai Spring International Travel
Service, turned a profit of 470 million yuan
(US$73.7 million) in 2010. The carrier was
founded in May 2004 and began operations
in July 2005. – William Dennis
Spring Airlines firms up plans for IPO
AsianAviation | SEPTEMBER 2011 13
2/09/11 5:50 PM
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