Cathay Pacific is close to finalizing an agreement that would bolster the airline’s fleet with 18 leased Airbus A321neo aircraft.
According to a report by Bloomberg, citing parties familiar with the matter, the 18 Airbus A321neo aircraft would be delivered on a lease between 2025 and 2027. Airbus’ Orders & Deliveries filings as of June 30, 2023, state that the airline operates 11 aircraft of the type, with an additional aircraft being placed with its low-cost subsidiary, HK Express.
Ch-aviation.com data shows that out of the 12, five are owned, while seven are leased from Bocomm Leasing, a subsidiary of Bank of Communications, based in Hong Kong.
The airline, which is scheduled to publish its full H1 2023 report on August 9, 2023, expects the period’s results to be positive. In early June 2023, the company’s Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Lavinia Lau said that the Cathay Pacific Group, which includes the aforementioned HK Express and cargo airline Air Hong Kong, had seen significant improvements compared to H1 2022, “in light of the removal of quarantine requirements in late September 2022 and the progressive increase in the Group’s capacity since that time”.
“Results from the Group’s associates, the majority of which are recognised three months in arrears (and which in some cases have already been announced by the associates), included losses,” Lau continued at the time.
Still, as it diluted its stake in Air China from 18.13% to 16.26%, it will record a one-off non-cash gain of HKD1.9 billion ($243.3 million). The non-cash gain was announced in January 2023 as part of the airline’s full-year financial report for 2022.
“Taking all of the above into account, together with the offsetting impact of the results from associates, which are reported three months in arrears, we expect that the Group will deliver a consolidated profit for the first half of 2023,” Lau concluded.
During the first six months of 2023, Cathay Pacific carried 7.8 million passengers, a 2,230% improvement compared to the same period in 2022, as it operated 18,101 flights (137.9% more than in H1 2022).
Commenting on the H1 2023 passenger results, Lau said: “We are pleased to see that our travel business continued to perform well in June. We reached a new milestone on 25 June when we surpassed the 60,000 mark for passengers carried in a single day for the first time since the pandemic.”