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25 JUNE 2018
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Technology was in the air last week as Cathay Pacific welcomed the first of 20 Airbus A350-1000 aircraft as the newest member of its fleet and then flew it from Airbus HQ at Toulouse to Hong Kong using a blend of biofuel.
Eight of the high-tech aircraft are due to be delivered this year, with the rest by 2021. The first aircraft will now undertake an initial round of regional services, starting with its first commercial flight to Taipei next Sunday, 1 July.
It will then be used to launch Cathay’s new service to Washington on 15 September, at 13,121km (8,153mi) the longest on the airline’s network. A350-1000s will also serve Madrid, Tel Aviv, Amsterdam, Manchester and Zurich from the coming winter.
On the fuel front, Cathay is the world’s first airline to invest in biofuel technology, becoming in 2014 an equity investor in US-based Fulcrum BioEnergy, which focuses on turning municipal waste into sustainable aviation fuel.
Fulcrum broke ground on its first commercial-scale plant in Nevada in May and says when it begins operations in 2020 it will produce more than 10m gallons of fuel for airlines including Cathay Pacific each year.
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