Cathay Pacific is embarking on its largest recycling project to date, the dismantling of recently retired Airbus A340-313, B-HXA (c/n 136).
James Tong, Cathay Pacific’s Director Corporate Affairs said: “We take our responsibility to the environment seriously. Through working with our partners, we are endeavouring to adopt a more environmentally responsible and systematic approach to dismantling retired aircraft. We are very pleased with results so far, with up to 90% of the weight of the aircraft being recycled with less than 10% going to landfill as waste.”
Cathay Pacific took delivery of its first of 25 A340s in 1996, but the four-engined type is being gradually retired from its fleet. The aircraft are being flown to Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrénées Airport, southwest France, where they are being recycled with the help of UK company AerFin. Four aircraft have flown here during 2015 – leaving seven still in service – to undergo a three-step process. First the aircraft are decommissioned, with fuel, water and hydraulic fluids being removed. The second step involves removing all reusable parts, such as engines and the landing gear, which are inspected, cleaned and tagged for reuse. In the final stage, recyclable parts are removed for onward transportation, while any material that cannot be recycled is disposed of.
Cathay Pacific says its remaining seven A340s will be retired by the end of 2017.