LONDON – Cathay Pacific and Boeing have donated the world’s first Boeing 777 to the Pima Air & Space Museum in Arizona—one of the world’s largest facilities devoted to celebrating the aviation industry.
WA001, registered as B-HNL, was retired by Cathay in May 2018 and made its way to Arizona as CPA3492.
This particular airframe first flew in June 1994 and was used as a testbed for the 777 program until 2000 when it was delivered to Cathay Pacific.
During its 18 years of commercial service, the airframe covered 20,519 flights, recording 49,687 hours of flying time.
“As the world’s very first Boeing 777, B-HNL holds a very special place in the history of both our airline and that of commercial aviation, and we are very pleased it will soon bring enjoyment to enthusiasts at its new home in Arizona,” said Rupert Hogg, CEO at Cathay Pacific.
“Our 777-200 aircraft has served us exceptionally well over the last two decades, and as we progressively retire these over the months ahead, we eagerly look forward to welcoming the state-of-the-art 777-9 aircraft into our fleet from 2021,” he said.
Likewise, Kevin McAllister, CEO at Boeing Commercial Airplanes emphasized the relationship between the manufacturer and Cathay Pacific, which has been “instrumental in the tremendous success of the 777
“The airline contributed greatly to the airplane’s original design and has been one of its biggest ambassadors ever since,” said McAllister.
Cathay Pacific is now the launch customer for the new Boeing 777X airplane, so the relationship between the 777 program and the Hong Kong-based airline is everything but finished.
At present, the airline operates a gigantic fleet of 70 Boeing 777s, which include 66 -300(ER)s and four -200(ER).
“We are thrilled to partner with Cathay on this donation to the museum as a way to share the remarkable story of the Boeing 777 for years to come.”
In December 2013, Cathay Pacific placed an order for 21 777-9Xs, which contributes to the 273 units already ordered by seven confirmed and by unidentified customers.