(Bloomberg) -- Airbus SE edged out Boeing Co. in a closely-fought sales campaign to sell freighter aircraft to Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd.

The Hong Kong carrier will buy six A350 freighters and secured the rights to a further 20 of the cargo jets, it said in a statement Friday. Deliveries will start from 2027 and should be completed by the end of 2029. 

In a boost to the European planemaker, Cathay, one of the world’s biggest freighter airlines by capacity, opted for the new generation composite plane marking its largest cargo aircraft order in 16 years.

The purchase is worth around $2.7 billion, before customary significant discounts are applied, Cathay said.

“As we move into 2024, our rebuild journey is gaining momentum,” Cathay Chief Executive Officer Ronald Lam said in the statement. “This order marks another major component in our investment for the future.”

Cathay’s preferred pick of Airbus to supply the new freighters comes despite operating an all-Boeing fleet of 20 747 freighters for its core cargo unit.

(Adds pricing in fourth paragraph, CEO comment in fifth.)

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