UPDATE | Cathay Pacific will reinstate first class on selected long-range Boeing 777 services this year, with a four-class 777 flying between Hong Kong and Tokyo and, later on, Los Angeles, London and Chicago. Read our full report.
PREVIOUS | Cathay Pacific will ditch the first class cabin from its new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, and reduce the number of the business class seats, in favour of its new premium economy service.
“We can confirm that the aircraft to be deployed on our Toronto service starting March 2012 will consist (only) of Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy Class” a spokeswoman for the airline told Australian Business Traveller.
The Hong Kong-Toronto route will mark the debut of Cathay’s premium economy-equipped Boeing 777-300ER in early March, with other North American and European destinations expected to follow as new aircraft from this third 777-300ER order arrive.
(According to advance flight schedules logged by Cathay Pacific into the system used by travel agents, as reported by the AirlineRoute website, the First Class-free 777-300ER will also make appearances shuttling from Hong Kong to Shanghai and Manila.)
The small but swish first class cabin of Cathay’s latest 777-300ER jets contains just six ‘mini-suites’, with 53 of the new business class seats behind.
This next batch of 300ERs will see business class pushed forward into the pointy end but reduced to 40 seats, in favour of a large 32-seat premium economy section. (The economy cabin will also gain 30 seats for a total of 268 berths).
Cathay Pacific will retain first class in its current 777-300ER fleet, but the factory-fresh an first class-free aircraft are likely to appear on the most popular long-haul routes, especially as Cathay’s Boeing 747s are phased out in favour of the 777s.