Cathay Pacific and Dragonair now expect to have all their grounded Airbus A330-300 jets back in service by this weekend. That is a week earlier than expected thanks to speedy delivery of engine modification kits from Rolls-Royce subcontractors Hispano-Suiza. The first of the 15 Airbuses will resume operations today. It comes after a 5.5-hour validation flight on one plane fitted with the re-designed gearbox parts received the approval of Civil Aviation Department inspectors. Cathay, which has faced the past 13 days without 11 of its A330s, representing some 15 per cent of its entire fleet, may now find itself having surplus aircraft next week. It has charter contracts with other airlines which may extend past the weekend. They were based on Cathay's prediction that its A330s would be returned to service by the end of next week. The planes have been stranded across Asia and Australia, although the gearboxes had been flown back to Hong Kong for re-fitting. Its sister airline, Dragonair, will also bring one of its four Airbuses grounded in Macau back into operation today - on routes to Beijing in the morning and Shanghai in the afternoon. Engineering director Roland Fairfield said last night Cathay was 'completely convinced that this modification is the permanent solution to a bearing lubrication problem'. 'We obviously now face the challenge of returning all the gearboxes to the various aircraft. I'm very pleased to say that we have already completed 14 gearboxes,' he added.