Cathay Pacific orders three Boeing 747-8

Hong Kong-based international passenger and cargo airline Cathay Pacific Airways has ordered three Boeing 747-8 Freighter cargo aircraft in a deal worth $1 billion.

The company, which is the world's largest international cargo carrier, also has options to buy five 777 Freighters, it said in a joint statement with Boeing on Monday.

The new additions will bolster Cathay Pacific's 747-8 Freighter fleet to 13 airplanes. It currently operates eight.

"The 747-8 Freighter has provided our revamped cargo fleet with efficient fuel savings as well as added environmental benefits," said John Slosar, Chief Executive of Cathay Pacific Airways. "We are pleased with the in-service performance of this new airplane and we look forward to maintaining Cathay Pacific's market leadership."

Hong Kong's flag carrier is in the midst of renewing its freighter fleet with newer, more efficient airplanes, while also looking to strengthen its position as a market leader in the air cargo business.

"Cathay Pacific is a longstanding customer and operator of Boeing's products and services," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. "We value our partnership with Cathay Pacific and are grateful for their enduring confidence in Boeing and the 747-8 Freighter."

On Friday, Cathay Pacific announced it was cancelling an order for eight Boeing 777-200 Freighters, citing a weaker outlook for growth of air cargo shipments.

Cathay Pacific has been trying to curb spending after falling into the red in the first half of 2012 with a $HK935 million loss, partly due to high fuel prices.

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