Cathay Pacific: "no upgrade to new business seats in Boeing 747 or Airbus A340"

By David Flynn, January 17 2011
Cathay Pacific:

UPDATE | Cathay Pacific has now revealed the first details of its new Premium Economy class as well as a replacement for the airline's much-criticised international economy seat, both of which will debut in March 2012 on flights between Hong Kong and Sydney – see our full report for details.

And while the premium economy seats will appear on CX's Boeing 747s and Airbus A340s, those planes will keep the current fixed-shell economy seat along with the cubicle-style business class bunks, as detailed below.

PREVIOUS | Cathay Pacific's impressive new business-class seats won't be installed into the Hong Kong flag-carrier's current Boeing 747-400 or Airbus A340 fleet.

The rollout of the new seats and cabin is underway on factory-fresh Airbus A330-300 and Boeing 777-300ER – due to enter service in March and April, respectively – before the airline begins an extensive refit of existing A330s and 777s.

But the 747s and A340s, which together represent one-third of Cathay's total fleet and over three-quarters of the dedicated three-class long-haul CX fleet, will retain the existing and often-criticised 'business-class 'cubicle' seating.

"The new business class seats will not be installed in either the CX 747s or the 340s" a Cathay Pacific spokesperson confirmed to Australian Business Traveller today. "The new seats are only going into the longhaul A330s and 777-300ERs."

The 747s and A340s "will be gradually phased out over some years", according to Cathay Pacific, with the 777-300ER and A330-300s taking their place.

However, Cathay Pacific is keeping mum on rumours that the new A330-300 and 777-300ER may include a premium economy section – which would be a first for the airline – along with a new design for the fixed-shell economy seats.

Cathay Pacific is one of the world's largest customers for both aircraft, with 31 A330s currently in service (plus three more on order) and 14 777-300ERs (with 18 more on order).

You can read Australian Business Traveller's detailed report on the new Cathay Pacific business class seats here, and browse our photo gallery here.


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.

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