updated 12/1/2005 7:43:34 AM ET 2005-12-01T12:43:34

Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. said Thursday it has ordered 12 Boeing 777-300ER aircraft — its biggest single airplane order ever.

The company also said it will lease another four of the Boeing planes and three Airbus SA A330-300 aircraft from International Lease Finance Corp.

Cathay declined to say how much the deal with Chicago-based Boeing cost. The average list price for a Boeing 777-300ER is $239.5 million, but bulk orders are usually heavily discounted.

Cathay spokeswoman Carolyn Leung said the airline plans to use the Boeing 777 aircraft —to be delivered between Sept. 2007 and July 2010 — on long-haul routes.

The Airbus A330 aircraft, which will join Cathay’s fleet in 2008, will serve regional routes, she said.

Cathay said the Boeing planes will be powered by two General Electric Co. engines, while the Airbus aircraft will be powered by Rolls-Royce Group PLC engines.

“More aircraft will allow us to have more flights, new destinations and greater hub connections,” Cathay Chief Executive Philip Chen said.

“This is a long-term commitment to the continued profitable growth of the airline,” he said.

Cathay currently has a fleet of 95 passenger and cargo aircraft, including 16 Boeing 777s and 26 Airbus A330s.

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