Cathay Pacific is reportedly eyeing future freighters in its fleet and is favouring Airbus' A350 freighter model over Boeing 777-8 freighter, Reuters reported.
Citing industry sources, the report noted that Cathay Pacific plans to replace the oldest section of its dedicated 747 cargo jet fleet.
It added that this is a switch from Cathay's earlier signal where it appeared to favour the competing Boeing freighter model.
Quoting its sources, the report said Cathay was considering an initial order for six of the aircraft which are worth around US$2 billion at list prices "before traditional airline discounts."
Cathay currently operates a fleet of 20 freighters. This consists of six 747-400ERFs — all owned and have an average of 14.5 years and 14 747-8Fs — which are about 10.4 years.
The carrier reported cargo growth in October — signalling a return in demand after the disruptions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Hong Kong-headquartered carrier transported 124,469 tonnes of cargo in the last month, marking a 13.7% increase compared with October 2022.
Looking ahead, Cathay said cargo tonnage is expected to grow further moving towards the end of the year, with two freight verticals — perishables and e-commerce — leading the growth.
In August, Cathay Pacific told analysts it was looking at freighters and "continuing to study various opportunities".