Cathay Pacific gathered up its supporters this week to say goodbye to the Boeing 747-400 that has operated on its London to Hong Kong route for more than 20 years.
Cathay’s first B747 arrived in Hong Kong in 1979 and applied for traffic rights to start flying to London at the end of the year.
The aircraft fleet was used to expand its services across Europe and North America and recently seen its economy, premium economy and business class cabins be refurbished.
Its first class cabins are currently going through changes.
Cathay has already retired nine of its B747s and will retire another 12 as well as 11 Airbus A340s in the next decade.
The fleet, including the one used on the London route, will be replaced by a more fuel-efficient Boeing 777-300ER on 1 January 2014.
Cathay added a fifth daily flight on its London to Hong Kong service this year, which has performed well.
“The Boeing 777-300ER is a superb aircraft that has already significantly enhanced our operations on key long-haul routes, and we are delighted to be introducing it for all of our flights between London and Hong Kong. We have been very impressed by the operating economics of these aircraft, while their high efficiency has resulted in a reduced environmental impact. As we continue to enhance our fleet, the 777-300ER will play a crucial role in our operations in the years to come,” said the airline’s head of sales and marketing Roberto Abbondio.