Cathay Pacific Sells 6 Aircraft As Virus Pressure Increases

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Today, Cathay Pacific announced that it will sell six of its Boeing 777-300ER planes to BOC Aviation. The deal is set to be worth $703.8 million dollars and will help the airline amid the consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Cathay 777
The 777 makes up the largest part of Cathay’s fleet. Photo: Cathay Pacific

Raising funds

Reuters reports that the sale includes all the associated equipment of the aircraft. Ultimately, it will help the Hong Kong-based carrier raise cash to be used towards general working capital requirements.

Last week, Cathay admitted that it is facing significant losses in the first half of the year. Additionally, it is set to make further cuts amid the pandemic. Even though China and surrounding regions are seeing a slowdown in the number of new novel coronavirus cases, nations around the world have now gone into lockdown or closed their airports.

Therefore, Cathay, along with several other airlines are set to feel the brunt of it all with far less demand to fly over the next few months. China only has less than 10,000 confirmed active cases of the virus at the moment. There are also only 70 confirmed active cases in Hong Kong. However, there are now over 96,000 active cases across the globe. 

With the saga looking to continue, Cathay has decided to sell six of its 777s to aircraft leasing specialists BOC.

Cathay Pacific 777 Runway
Several of Cathay’s aircraft have had to remain on the ground in the last few months Photo: Getty Images

Trusted aircraft

Despite the airline letting go of the ownership of the jets, it won’t have to say goodbye to them. This is because Cathay will lease the aircraft back from the Asia-based lessor.

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According to Planespotters.net, the firm holds 68 Boeing 777s within its fleet. These are accompanied by 36 Airbus A350 XWB jets and 20 Boeing 747s. Additionally, several of its 28 Airbus A330s have recently been used for cargo only flights amid the change of circumstances. Last week, Cathay shared that it will halt flights to Japan amid the travel restrictions that have been placed in the country.

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777
There will be far fewer 777s taking off across the globe this spring. Photo: Getty Images

Hopeful turns

There was some positive news shared by Cathay today. It will temporarily reintroduce flights between Hong Kong and London Heathrow. Additionally, it will temporarily restart some routes to North America. This is so stranded passengers can return home in time for Easter.

Altogether, the fact that Cathay sold these 777s to take them back on lease shows that it is looking to operate them when the time is right. Once the restrictions are dropped, Cathay will be eager to fly all of its aircraft high in the skies as soon as possible.

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Simple Flying reached out to Cathay Pacific about the aircraft sales. We will update the article with any further announcements.

What are your thoughts on how the coronavirus outbreak continues to impact the aviation industry? How have you been affected by the ongoing changes? Let us know what you think in the comment section.

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