Cathay Pacific (CX, Hong Kong Int'l) says it is in talks with Airbus (AIB, Toulouse Blagnac) and Rolls-Royce Plc over the manufacturer's planned new stretched version of the A350-1000, unofficially dubbed the A350-8000.

Announced in March, the A350-8000 would compete against the 400-seater B777-9 from Boeing (BOE, Chicago O'Hare) of which Cathay currently has twenty-one on order.

Chief Executive Officer Ivan Chu told Bloomberg news last week that the aircraft presented interesting ultra long-haul opportunities among them direct flights from Hong Kong Int'l to Miami Int'l and other destinations further on in South America.

The A350-1000, of which Cathay has twenty-six on order, would not be able to make said routes given its anticipated maximum range of 14,600km. As such, the type will be used on US East and West Coast flights, Chu said.

Cathay Pacific took delivery of its first of twenty two A350-900s last week.