CHICAGO—Cathay Pacific Airways is retiring its Airbus A340 fleet, including four this year, as part of its modernization plan.
The Hong Kong-based carrier will retire the remaining seven A340-300s in 2016 and 2017.
AerFin is managing the end-of-life process for Cathay’s 11 A340s—by buying and/or consigning the aircraft’s parts. “All 11 A340s are planned to be recycled, as aircraft with four engines which consume more fuel are currently less popular with airlines,” a Cathay spokesperson said.
“The second, third and fourth aircraft are being dismantled as we speak,” she said. Tarmac Aerosave—a joint venture between Airbus, SITA France and Snecma—is tearing down the aircraft at its facility in Tarbes, France, southwest of Toulouse.
This is Cathay Pacific’s largest recycling project to date, and the carrier says that up to 90% of the aircraft’s weight is being recycled.
Cathay received the first of its A340s in 1996. It will replace the aircraft with Airbus A350s starting in first-quarter 2016. It expects the A350 to offer a 25% improvement in fuel-efficiency.
The carrier, which operates an all-widebody fleet, plans to take delivery of 69 aircraft through 2024.
Today, its 147-aircraft fleet includes Boeing 747-400s, Boeing 777-300s and -200s, as well as Airbus A330-300s and A340-300s.