The current estimate for the 744 fleet in CX
is for another 10 to 15 years of service, which is pushing it into the 2010-2015 bracket. So any aircraft added to the fleet would be a supplement, not a replacement.
I find it quite interesting that so many posters here are convinced that Boeing will be selling some form of revamped 747NG this year.... when they haven't even proposed one (for this month ), not to mention actually gotten it board-approved and set to be offered.
is still hoping for some sort of sign from Boeing that they would start up the Advanced program again, as the 744 is just about the perfect aircraft for most of Cathay's routes, in terms of capacity, capability and flexibility. If a 744 can be had with lower operating costs and significantly further range, I'm sure CX
would snap them up right now. The current 744ER is not enough of an improvement to justify the purchase price for a brand new airframe, so it seems that CX
is holding their cards till a worthy replacement comes up.
On the other hand, CX
is not relinquishing their A346's, but there are still operational requirements that need to be sorted out before they get placed on the HKG
direct route. IMO, if the issues with the 346's will get resolved this year, and the aircraft proves itself in the operational theatre, you will probably see more orders for the type. If not, I'm sure the 773ER will be the next in line (thus fulfilling CxFlyboy's wishes). But again, these are not replacements for the 744.