COO Rupert Hogg detailed that Cathay will add 22 Airbus A350-900s to its fleet over the next 2 years, followed by 26 A350-1000s from 2018 through to 2020.
From 2021, it will also take the first of 21 Boeing 777-9Xs on order.
The mainline carrier now has a fleet of 124 passenger aircraft, comprised largely of Airbus A330s and Boeing 777-300ERs.
Under Cathay’s strategy, the A350-900s will primarily be targeted at helping the airline open new points in Europe, and to add a 2nd or 3rd frequency to existing destinations such as Milan and Amsterdam, said Hogg.
The A350-1000s will meanwhile allow the Hong Kong flag carrier to fly additional frequencies “more cost effectively” to points in North America, and for upgauging on services where traffic rights or airport capacity are constrained.
“We see a combination of A350-900s, A350-1000s and existing 777s in Europe, North America and increasingly in Australia,” he said.
In the longer term, when the 777Xs arrive, the aircraft will mainly be put on routes to North America and Europe, particularly those with high volumes of both passengers and cargo.
The A350-900 should eventually replace Cathay’s small fleet of 777-200s and also older A330-300s, while the A350-1000s will likely replace both the A340s and 777-300s.