Hum, lets think. What does Boeing have that Airbus doesn't. I know the 747. Airbus doesn't have anything that can compare to the "Queen of the Skies". Please don't bring up the A340-500/600 because it doesn't rival the 747-400 just the 777-300. Boeing is also working on the 747-200ERX which would carry the same amount of passengers and A340-500 would a longer distance. United777 was correct is reinterpreting what I said. I also think that Cathay Pacific did make a big mistake when ordering their Airbus products. The A330 fleet had to be downed for several weeks last year due to geabox problems in the engine. While that does not per say reflect on Airbus as much as Rolls Royce, it is still an Airbus aircraft. I also think replacing the 747-200 with the 777-300 is a mistake also. The 777-200 is also a questionable aircraft because Cathay does not know if it fits the fleet correctly. NONE OF THESE PROBLEMS OCCURED WHEN THEY OPERATED THE 747-200S. You might argue that you are saving maitience costs but Cathay keeps their aircraft in meticulous condition(seen by the quick leasing of 5 747-200s by Iberia and Virgin Atlantic) Virgin Atlantic is one of the airlines along with BA to see that you lose money when you donwngrade to a twin aircraft or anything smaller. During a recession it looks smart, but when times are average or above you lose profit. Look at BA and Virgin, still operating 747-200s in favour of 777-200s or A330-300s or A340-300s for that matter.
Right now it looks like a wise decision because of the Asian flu and lack of cargo and pax. When the market returns(as it has been doing), they will not be able to have the same profit margin they would have operating the older quads. You are losing out on potential profit when you switch to a smaller aircraft with less pax and cargo space.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower