Cathay Pacific will launch an all-new premium economy seat on its flagship Airbus A350 fleet from February 2016, alongside an ‘evolved’ business class seat.
A padded swing-up legrest will be built into every seat, while passengers will enjoy more legroom due to slightly greater distance between each row of seats.
“We’re always looking for what’s out there in the market” CX product exec Toby Smith tells Australian Business Traveller, “and for premium economy there was a new seat which we felt was better than the current one.”
“It has a proper and more comfortable legrest in all rows, unlike a padded bar at the front which some competitors have – which when you've not got your shoes on is quite hard and uncomfortable.”
The upgrade comes four years after Cathay Pacific introduced its ‘in-between’ class in March 2012, which has a proper legrest only in the first row of seats, while travellers in other rows must make do with a less comfortable swing-down 'T-bar' footrest (show below).
The A350’s premium economy seating layout is believed to follow the same 2-3-2 grid as Cathay Pacific’s Airbus A330-300 jets rather than the 2-4-2 arrangement of the Boeing 777-300ER.
The Airbus A350 will also be used to assess the demand for inflight Internet.
"We're going to be doing some technology trials and pricing model trials on the A350, which will come with connectivity," Smith has previously confirmed to Australian Business Traveller.
"We've been looking at it for a number of years" Smith said, "but I'm not yet reassured by the technology."
"We look at other airlines and we hear their passenger experiences, and there's a high number of drop-outs, it's slow and some airlines charge a lot of money for it, so we want to let the technology become a bit more mature."
"There hasn't been a big push from our passengers" Smith adds. "In fact a lot of what I hear from our Marco Polo members is ‘Please don't do it, it's the only place in the wold where I’m free from the Internet'."
Also read: Cathay Pacific’s all-new A350 business class
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