|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||29th August 2006|
Cathay Pacific Airways today celebrated a significant milestone in its 60-year history - and continued expansion - when it took delivery of its 100th aircraft, an Airbus A330-300, at the Airbus final assembly line in Toulouse, France.
Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Philip Chen accepted the aircraft on the airline's behalf from Airbus Chief Operating Officer - Customers John Leahy. Guest of Honour at the acceptance ceremony was Chief Secretary for Administration of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, The Honourable Rafael Hui. Representing Rolls-Royce, which has supplied the Trent 700 engines used on the latest fleet addition, was Senior Vice President Asia and Middle East Mick Forey.
The new aircraft, registration B-LAD, comes with a unique livery to mark its special status in the fleet. It has also been given a name, "Progress Hong Kong", which was selected in a naming competition among the airline's staff. The A330-300 has a three-class configuration featuring Cathay Pacific's acclaimed First Class and New Business Class cabins. It will fly on regional and medium-haul routes around the airline's network.
The 100th aircraft arrives as the airline moves into one of the most aggressive periods of expansion in its history, with 36 aircraft currently on firm order. These include five more A330-300s.
Speaking at the aircraft acceptance ceremony in Toulouse, Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Philip Chen said: "It gives me great pleasure to accept our 100th aircraft on the airline's behalf and to welcome Chief Secretary Rafael Hui as Guest of Honour at this special occasion. This delivery marks a significant milestone for Cathay Pacific as we celebrate 60 years of serving the people of Hong Kong, helping to build the city into a leading international aviation hub.
"Our latest aircraft not only caps 60 years of great achievements, but also heralds a new era of expansion for the airline. In the past 10 years we have doubled our fleet size and by October 2009 we will operate more than 130 aircraft. This continued growth represents the confidence we have in the airline, and also the confidence we have in Hong Kong's future as a centre for business and tourism, and as a passenger and freight hub of international importance. Our recent acquisition of Dragonair underlines our commitment to the city and will, I believe, create new synergies that can only benefit Hong Kong."
Chief Secretary for Administration of the HKSAR Government Rafael Hui said: "Cathay Pacific's development is a typical Hong Kong story. Its success is a major driving force behind Hong Kong's aviation development, which in turn supports our continued trade and economic growth."
Airbus Chief Operating Officer - Customers John Leahy said: "Over the past 60 years, Cathay Pacific Airways has built a reputation for being one of the world's most visionary and prestigious carriers. Airbus is very proud to have been part of Cathay Pacific's success story during a period full of enormous challenges. We are proud of the steadily growing fleet of A330s and A340s efficiently operating on the airline's regional and intercontinental long haul network. In the spirit of true partnership, Airbus is delighted to share in Cathay Pacific's anniversary celebrations and the delivery of its 100th aircraft today."
Rolls-Royce Senior Vice President, Asia and Middle East, Mick Forey said: "We're proud to be sharing this significant milestone with one of our long-standing customers. Over the past 60 years, Cathay Pacific has successfully positioned itself as a leader in the aviation world and showed great foresight when it originally selected the Trent 700 for its A330s in 1990. This decision led to the launch of the Rolls-Royce Trent family of engines in 1995, which also heralded a new era for us. Rolls-Royce now powers more than three quarters of Cathay Pacific's current fleet and we look forward to working together to ensure continued success."
Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Philip Chen speaks at the Cathay Pacific 100th aircraft acceptance ceremony at the Airbus final assembly line in Toulouse, France.
Guest of Honour Chief Secretary for Administration of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, The Honourable Rafael Hui (2nd from the left) and Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Philip Chen (2nd from the right) at the acceptance ceremony.
(From left) Rolls-Royce Senior Vice President, Asia and Middle East, Mick Forey, Chief Secretary for Administration of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, The Honourable Rafael Hui, Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Philip Chen together with Airbus Chief Operating Officer - Customers John Leahy in front of Cathay Pacific's 100th aircraft.
Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Philip Chen presents a model of Cathay Pacific's 100th aircraft to Chief Secretary for Administration of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region The Honourable Rafael Hui.
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