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Cathay Cancels Order for Eight Boeing 777-200 Freighters

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., the world’s biggest international air-cargo carrier, canceled an order for eight Boeing Co. 777-200 freighters as it revamps its fleet.

Cathay will instead buy three Boeing 747-8 freighters worth $1 billion at list prices, the carrier said in a filing to Hong Kong stock exchange today. The company also has options to purchase five Boeing 777-200 freighters, it said.

The airline will sell four Boeing 747-400 converted freighters to Boeing as part of the fleet restructuring. Cathay has cut capacity and is using more efficient aircraft to improve cargo business that accounts for about a quarter of the airline’s revenue. The global air freight market shrank 1.5 percent last year, according to the International Air Transport Association, as economic uncertainty damped demand.

The new planes will be used for long-haul destinations in North America and Europe, Cathay said, adding that it expects to take deliveries of the aircraft this year. Pre-delivery payments made for the 777-200 freighters will be used for the purchase of the three new planes, it said.

Air China Cargo, a joint venture between Cathay and Air China Ltd., will also sell seven Boeing 747-400 converted freighters and buy eight Boeing 777-200 freighters, Cathay said in the statement.

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