CATHAY PACIFIC HAS SIGNED a deal to buy four new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, worth HK$25.6 billion.
The aircraft are in addition to an order announced earlier this year for 27 aircraft, including 10 B777-300ERs, two A350-900s and 15 A330-300s.
Cathay Pacific Group, which includes Cathay Pacific and Dragonair, saw profits more than halve in the first six months of 2011.
Between January and June, Cathay Pacific made $HK2,808 million, a 58.9 per cent drop on the HK$ 6,840m the airline returned in the first half of 2010.
Cathay put the dwindling profits down to a 49.5 per cent rise in fuel costs and the ongoing effects of the natural disaster in Japan. The earthquake and tsunami in March resulted in a "significant reduction" in demand in one of the group's "most important" markets, according to Christopher Pratt, Cathay's chairman.
He said: "After an exceptionally strong 2010, in which we made record profits, 2011 is proving to be more challenging." Recovering the cost of fuel through higher tariffs "may affect demand", warned Pratt. "The current high fuel prices and economic uncertainty are reminders that we operate in a challenging and unpredictable industry and, accordingly, must continue to manage our finances prudently."