Written for TheDesignAir by Adam Ralston | Nine months ago, the final Cathay Pacific 747-400 departed San Francisco for Hong Kong, never to return to the continent. That 747-400 was swapped, permanently, for the 777-300ER serving the airlines’ Canadian and US destinations. The 747-series of passenger aircraft served Cathay Pacific well for nearly 35 years. That final departure on 31st August of last year marked the end of an era of expansion for the airline, but hailed the beginning of another: that of the 777-300ER.
To wit, Boeing delivered to Cathay Pacific Airways late last week the airline’s 50th 777-300ER. This aircraft brings Cathay Pacific’s total “Triple 7” fleet to 67, which includes 12 777-300s and five 777-200s. This won’t be the last 777-300ER to roll out of Everett, across the Pacific, and on to Hong Kong; three more 777-300ERs are on the docket to be delivered in 2015. Additionally, the Hong Kong-based carrier is a launch customer for the 777X with 21 777-9X airplanes on order with Boeing.
To celebrate, Cathay Pacific have emblazoned this 777-300ER with the wording “Our 50th 777-300ER” just below the airline’s branding within the iconic light blue-green that adorns the carriers’ planes’ bellies and sides. This certainly echoes the sentiments of Ivan Chu, Chief Executive for Cathay Pacific, who said, “The 777-300ER forms the backbone of our long-haul fleet.” Chu continued that “[Cathay Pacific] operate the largest 777-300ER fleet in Asia, and this super-efficient long haul aircraft allows us to operate multiple daily frequencies to intercontinental markets, which gives our customers a lot of choices.”
This 50th 777-300ER, and the three to follow, will all feature its popular, long-haul Business Class – a favorite with the TheDesignAir and recently reviewed here – and both its Premium Economy and standard Economy cabins.
Voted 2014’s World’s Best Airline by SkyTrax – the carrier will certainly put this 777-300ER to good use. Perhaps on the newly–inaugurated Boston-Hong Kong route that began service 2nd May.