Cathay Pacific gets its first Airbus A350 on May 27

By David Flynn, May 17 2016
Cathay Pacific gets its first Airbus A350 on May 27

Cathay Pacific's new Airbus A350 takes wing this week, and Australian Business Traveller has all the details - and plenty of photos - of the new business class and premium economy seats: click through to the following articles.

Revealed: Cathay Pacific's new Airbus A350 business class seat

Up close with Cathay Pacific's new Airbus A350 premium economy seat

PREVIOUS | Cathay Pacific will take delivery of its first Airbus A350 model on May 27, with the advanced jet arriving into Hong Kong Airport on May 29.

The A350s will sport new-look seats fitted from tip to tail, starting with 38 business class seats based on the airline's current highly-regarded business class (shown below) and in the same 1-2-1 layout – but with an updated design which CX is carefully positioning as a 'refresh' to improve the existing seat, based on extensive passenger surveys and in-person workshops.

Travellers can expect to see improvements in storage space, the ability to slide the meal table forward and back, and a degree of tilt for the large HD video screen.

The refreshed business class seat has been widely blamed for delays to the A350's delivery, which was originally slated for March, with claims that seat supplier Zodiac fell far behind the schedule set by Airbus and Cathay Pacific. 

There's also a compact premium economy cabin of 28 seats in a 2-4-2 arrangement and an all-new design, followed by 214 new economy seats ranked in a 3-3-3 grid.

Also read: Inside Singapore Airlines' all-new Airbus A350 

The Airbus A350 will also be fitted with inflight Internet, which is a first for Cathay Pacific's international fleet and an overdue catch-up to competitors such as Singapore AirlinesEmirates and Etihad.

Cathay Pacific will showcase the A350 to members of the media on Monday May 30, with the aircraft’s first commercial flight as CX907 to Manila on June 1, the airline says.

it will then run a daily basis to Manila and Taipei until the second aircraft arrives in July, when fights will also commence to Bangkok, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City and Kansai.

Cathay Pacific will swing the fuel-efficient jet onto longer-range international routes to Europe from September, beginning with Dusseldorf and London.

A350 flights between Hong Kong and Auckland will commence in the second half of the year.

Other likely starters for the A350's route map include Barcelona, Dusseldorf, Milan and Zurich.

11 more A350-900s are due to be delivered this year, and another ten in 2017, to be followed by 26 of the larger and longer-range A350-1000s from 2018.

The A350-1000 fleet will feature an updated business class along with all-new premium economy and economy seats, although Cathay Pacific has decided against installing first class on the Airbus A350-1000, opting instead for a larger premium cabin featuring its new international business class seats.

Australian Business Traveller will travel to Hong Kong for the May 30 launch of the Airbus A350 as a guest of Cathay Pacific.

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

21 Jul 2012

Total posts 128

Hmm.  It'll be interesting to see which cities actually end up getting A350 service.  DUS and BCN certainly will, but I would have expected ZRH and possibly MXP to have enough F customers to sustain the 77W.

21 Jul 2012

Total posts 128

Following up on my own comment, I flew SYD-HKG-DUS a couple of weeks ago.  The HKG-DUS leg was sold out in F, and the crew told me F loads have actually been decent on this route.  Interestingly, all the other F pax seemed to be German rather than Asian, so I assume that business is coming at the expense of LH/LX.

14 Apr 2014

Total posts 46

I have doubts on whether Cathay will fly to both Madrid and Barcelona. Madrid is being launched on the B77W in June - which may be transferred to the A350 with a frequency increase?

IMO 2 Spanish destinations in a single year might be challenging.

07 Feb 2016

Total posts 21

With this delay (previous EIS was shifted from February to March and now its 'late April'), Cathay Pacific's long haul network will take a big hit, especially as it will have to postpone plans scheduled for the first half of this year. And we'll have to wait and see if Cathay will be able to take all 10 Airbus A350-900s as planned during 2016, or will some slip to 2017 as well.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Sep 2012

Total posts 132

[Removed by admin: off-topic]

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 542

The current inaugural is scheduled for May 1st, 2016...when does that change to?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 May 2012

Total posts 159

Great shame as was hoping to get on A350 from Auckland to HK in a few months time. Sadly one more trip on the A340.

10 Aug 2015

Total posts 125

Hopefully BNE and PER will get there flights upgraded to the a350-900!

18 May 2016

Total posts 5

Give it a few years, maybe once the 1000's arrive. They will most likley go to Sydney First

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 622

And given that CX will use the same current cabin seat designs(Aside fm very minor seat dimensional specs) across J, PY and Y on 333s for their 359s, exactly what more will a typical pax(i.e. non-enthusiast of aviation) be "hoping" for fm the 359 which is not already being offered by CX on HKG-BNE/PER routes?

Of course for aviation enthusiasts, taller cabin ceilings and larger windows of 350 vs 330 are counted as significant "upgrades" in pax experience.

For CX though, the op picture is very diff.  359 is critical(i.e. missions can't be done by 333) for almost all 'thin' longhaul CX routes outside AU but not so for all AU routes(i.e. 333 can carry a full load yr-round on any HKG-AU routes).  Easy to imagine CX's priority/pecking order in where to deploy its 22 strong 359 fleet(Barely enough for 11 daily frequencies to Europe or N.America) in the nex 2yrs......

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 542

You're not right here, FLX. Cathay has completely changed their premium economy and economy cabins and also further upgraded their business class cabins.

21 Oct 2013

Total posts 15

Great idea to do away with 1st class on the 1000 always thought it was a bit OTT.

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 622

I don't understand why folks here keep saying CX is "to do away with 1st class." for their upcoming 35Ks(i.e. 350-1000).

CX has always planned the 35K to replace part of its 53strong 77W fleet with most of the rest to be replaced later by the larger 779 fm 2021.  On the other hand, we know CX has been using 2 cabin configs across its 77W fleet for yrs, 4-class with F and 3-class with no F(Roughly 50:50 distribution across that fleet).  So 35K is clearly targeted to replace the 3-class 77W by CX as their total seat counts published by CX are nearly identical.  In contrast, the larger 779 will indeed be more appropriate to accommodate F product without losing too many seats in lower classes.

So when 35K with no F is intended to replace current 77W with no F, how can we logically say CX is doing away with F on 35K?

If we claim CX is doing away with F in its fleet, it has already started a long time ago as 77W fleet was delivered and splitted into 2 cabin configs.....not 2yrs fm now when 35K arrive @ CX.

American Airlines - AAdvantage

29 May 2016

Total posts 2

Any one heard of US cities that may be getting A350 service?

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