Cathay Pacific’s Fleet In 2021

Earlier this year, Hong Kong’s flag carrier airline Cathay Pacific celebrated 75 years since its establishment in September 1946. The company has come a long way in that time, and now operates a diverse fleet of nearly 200 aircraft. Consisting entirely of jet-powered designs, let’s take a closer look at its exact makeup, and what aircraft it has on order.

Cathay Pacific A350
Cathay Pacific operates both variants of the A350. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Airbus narrowbodies

According to data from ch-aviation.com, Cathay Pacific currently has 188 aircraft in its fleet. Starting off small, we can see that 15 of these are narrowbody planes from European manufacturing juggernaut Airbus. These come from both its original A320ceo series and the new A320neo family. The oldest are its five A321s, at 16.6 years on average.

Meanwhile, the smaller A320 is both more numerous and younger than its larger counterpart at Cathay Pacific. Indeed, the airline presently has six in its fleet, and these twinjets are 15.4 years old on average. However, these and the A321s are presently inactive.

The future of Cathay Pacific’s narrowbody fleet is plain to see, in the form of the next-generation A321neo. Although the airline presently has just four in its fleet (with an average age of 0.8 years old), it has another 12 examples on order. Each of them seats 202 passengers in a two-class setup, consisting of 190 economy and 12 business class seats.

A321neo cathay pacific
Cathay Pacific will eventually operate 16 A321neos. Photo: Cathay Pacific

Boeing widebodies

Cathay Pacific has a worldwide footprint, and, correspondingly, the bulk of its aircraft are long-haul widebodies. These come from both sides of the dominant Airbus-Boeing manufacturing duopoly. Starting with the latter of these planemakers, Cathay Pacific flies an impressive 65 aircraft from the US manufacturer’s popular 777 twinjet family.

Of these, 17 are examples of the standard 777-300, with the remaining 48 being the extended range 777-300ER version. The 777-300ERs are comfortably the younger model, clocking in at just 9.5 years old on average, compared to 20.3 for the standard 777-300s. Cathay Pacific also has 21 examples of the next-generation 777-9 on order.

Hong Kong’s flag carrier is also a key player in the cargo market. It uses Boeing widebodies for this aspect of its operations as well, including six 747-400ERFs at an average of 13 years old. The rest of its freighters are examples of the newer 747-8F, of which it flies 14. These cargo-carrying quadjets are somewhat younger and come in at 8.9 years old on average.

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER
Cathay Pacific’s most numerous aircraft type is the 777-300ER. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

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Airbus widebodies

Finally, Cathay Pacific also operates widebodies from two Airbus families. The most numerous is the A330, with the airline specifically operating 45 examples of the A330-300. These twinjets are 13.8 years old on average, and, historically speaking, Cathay Pacific has flown a further 28 examples. At the time of writing, just 17 of the 45 were currently active.

By far the most modern widebodies in the present Cathay Pacific fleet are its Airbus A350s, of which it flies a total of 43. This figure spans both variants, with this section of its fleet having 28 A350-900s and 15 A350-100s. On average, these twinjets are 4.1 and 2.6 years old respectively. Cathay Pacific also has a further two -900s and three 1000s on order.

What do you make of Cathay Pacific’s fleet? Do you have a particular favorite aircraft from its current setup? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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