Inflight Internet service and a new premium economy class are both being considered by Cathay Pacific as the airline looks to follow through the launch of its new business class seating.
Dane Cheng, Cathay Pacific’s General Manager for the South West Pacific, told Australian Business Traveller that inflight Internet “is on the drawing board”.
“We’ve been looking at it” Cheng said, “but we have tried it before and it wasn’t that popular. So we want to look at the best way to do it. It’s certainly on the map”.
Singapore Airlines is planning to launch inflight Internet in May on its flagship Airbus A380 fleet, before rolling out the service onto its A340-500 and Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
Cheng is more cautious about the airline’s continued dalliance with premium economy, having long adhered to the traditional three class model of economy, business and first.
“We are still looking at (premium economy), and I’m sure there will be some good improvements and progress made” he told Australian Business Traveller.
At the same time, Cheng sees the travellers moving towards two different ends of the market.
“At one end we have people looking for no-frills and low cost, and the other end of the market that is growing is premium. Even some no-frills low-cost passengers are looking at moving up the ladder a bit.”
“I think travel is now becoming more than taking people from A to B” Cheng suggests. “Travel is part of their lifestyle and people won’t be satisfied taking a coach service, particularly in this part of the world where service is still highly regarded.”