Cathay Pacific are said to be seriously considering cancelling their order for 21 777-9’s, which are due for delivery in 2021-23.
The airline is said to have grave doubts at the size of the aircraft and the potential market, and before it commits to long term production of its new seating, needs to make a decision. It’s said to be on the point of having to make a commitment to order the thousands of seats and begin testing them for the new interiors. Mock ups were seen by managers as early as Dec 2018.
The need for aircraft will continue, but sources have suggested that as part of the cancellation deal, they’re most likely to swap down to the 787-10.
Should Cathay Pacific decide to take this path, it will likely trigger an avalanche of similar decisions from airlines with smaller orders. The only buyer of significance is Emirates, and even they may reconsider the scale of their order.
Cathay has been in the worst of all worlds for almost a year. A massive decline in business from the pro-democracy protests that started in May 2019; then the Covid19 pandemic, and the fact that the protests are simply on hold while the pandemic passes through, have seriously affected business. The airline has been struggling for 12 months.