Cathay Pacific premium economy (and new economy) takes flight

By David Flynn, March 2 2012
Cathay Pacific premium economy (and new economy) takes flight

Cathay Pacific’s new premium economy service makes its debut today, with the first flights between Sydney and Hong Kong.

Passengers on the daily CX100/101 service will find the premium economy cabin sandwiched between the business and economy sections, with four rows of recliner seats which Cathay has adapted from a ‘regional business class’ design.

Read AusBT's detailed report and photo gallery of Cathay’s premium economy seats

The wide seats have plenty of legroom, especially around the knees, with a generous 8 inch recline and a footrest for added comfort.

In common with Cathay’s economy seats, and unlike those of many other airlines, there’s an AC power outlet for each set plus the ability to play videos from your iDevice onto the seat’s 10.6 inch screen.

And there’s good news if you’re travelling in economy on CX100/101 this month: Cathay Pacific will offer free upgrades to premium economy to high-status Marco Polo and oneworld partner airlines booked into the cheap seats.

Mind you, even those seats will be more bearable than previous flights, with Cathay ditching its much-maligned ‘fixed shell’ economy seats for a more conventional but more comfortable recliner.

Read AusBT's detailed report and photo gallery of Cathay's new 'long haul' international economy seats

Cathay Pacific is very positive on the debut of premium economy, with Chief Operating Officer Ivan Chu telling Australian Business Traveller that “in the first four days we sold 100 seats even without advertising them”.

Flights to Melbourne and Adelaide will see the new seats from August, with Brisbane and Perth services starting in October.

“We will put premium economy on every one of our long-haul aircraft and we will do that as fast as we can” Chu says.

“By December 2012, roughly three-quarter of all Australian flights will have the new seats daily” a Cathay spokesperson told Australian Business Traveller.


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.

17 Nov 2011

Total posts 27

What about the food?  How was it?  Did you manage to get on the first 33G flight?

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2551

Yes, we were on the first A330 with Premium Economy and new economy, as CX100 out of Sydney this arvo. Food was good - the main meal (dinner) drawn from business class but the pre-landing 'supper' refreshment was standard economy fare, although it was quite good for economy! We'll post a review on Monday.

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