The Hong Kong airline made the agreement, subject to board approval, for the larger A350-1000 variant at the Farnborough International Air Show this morning.
It will also convert 16 of the 36 existing orders it already made for the A350-900 to the bigger 1000 platform, and bring the total number of A350 XWB aircraft it ordered to 48.
The largest version of the wide body family of popular A350 aircraft typically seats 350 passengers and is capable of flying 8,400 nautical miles non-stop. It is powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines delivering 97,000lbs of thrust.
“The announcement from Cathay is a clear endorsement of the unbeatable operating economics offered by the A350-1000,” said Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier. “The game changing model in the 350-seat category offers outstanding payloads-range capability and a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn [on some existing models in this class].”
Yesterday at the air show Airbus’ rival Boeing announced 60 orders for its 737 MAX 8 and 15 orders for its 737 MAX 9 aircraft from Air Lease Corporation.