Cathay Pacific to Buy 36 Planes As Passenger Traffic Rises

Cathay Pacific Airways (CPCAY) will buy 36 planes after its quarterly earnings surged and passenger levels rose.

Hong Kong's largest carrier will order 30 Airbus A350-900 planes and six Boeing 777-300ERs, Bloomberg News reported. The company's passenger traffic rose 8.5% in the quarter, while profit rose more than eightfold to HK$6.84 ($881 million).

The quarterly earnings were boosted by the sale of a stake in a maintenance provider.

"Core business and yields improvements were much better than expected," Jim Wong, an analyst with Nomura Holdings Inc. in Hong Kong, told Bloomberg News. "The second half will be even better, unless oil prices surge."

The worldwide airline industry is on track for its first profit in three years, according to the International Air Transport Association.

Last month, Boeing (BA) forecast growing demand for commercial airplanes, saying it had more than 3,000 unfilled orders for the aircraft as of June 30.

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