Comfort at the core of Cathay Pacific's next business class brush-up

By David Flynn, March 21 2019

Cathay Pacific is circling in on a soft boost for business class in the second half of this year, with the aim on that most valued aspect of passenger experience: comfort.

The program won't see any changes made to Cathay's well-regarded business class seat – a new seat isn't expected until the arrival of its Boeing 777-9 jets in 2021 – but will focus on less concrete aspects.

“We are doing what we would call sub-furnishing the environment, the ambience of the business class cabin," says Cathay Pacific CEO Rupert Hogg.

"It’s mainly things that aren’t structural. It’s everything that will make that journey comfortable,” such as for sleeping.

The Hong Kong-based airline is steadily expanding its new 'business class dining concept' which introduces individually-plated meals chosen from an à la carte menu which the airline says will include three starter choices and "up to six main course choices".

The menu will also include a series of 'lighter, healthier' meals alongside a 'most loved main course' flagged for each route and on overnight flights, a breakfast card which passengers will fill out before before hitting the hay.

Currently being rolled out on the longest international flights, the Cathay Pacific will add medium-range flights to Australia across May and June 2019, with some passengers to some 34 destinations being better-fed by the middle of the year.

Hogg also said that crews would be noting the travel habits of business class flyers, such as when they want their seat laid flat, in a bid to individually tailor inflight service for them.

Approached by Australian Business Traveller, Cathay Pacific declined to offer further comment or details on the changes ahead for business class.

Additional material by Bloomberg

David

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.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Jun 2015

Total posts 68

Mattress for the seat and some PJs thanks cathay.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 740

Interesting times ahead. Was never a fan of choosing meals from a cart, much prefer SQ's rule of oven to seat in sixty seconds. Looks like CX is really working on things.
RR
RR

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 65

As much as I would like to, we won’t use Cathay from Brisbane because the daily direct flight is an overnighter (07.30 arrival) that doesn’t directly connect with most of the European flights (which leave @ midnight).

There is a few times per week day flight that would sort of connect but it goes via Sydney (BNE-SYD-HKG).

So Cathay, put back the direct afternoon flight please!

Cathay Pacific doesn't fly from Brisbane to Sydney: some daytime flights during off-peak periods do route as Brisbane-Cairns-Hong Kong and vice versa, but right now, Cathay is flying 11 weekly non-stop flights from Brisbane to Hong Kong, with the extra four flights per week (on top of the daily night-time service) departing Brisbane at 10:35am.

RR
RR

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 65

Ah, thanks for that info, my mistake. But a stop all the same. Years ago CX used to do BNE-HKG direct as an afternoon flight, and we used it a lot until it was cancelled in favour of the overnighter.

Qantas

02 May 2016

Total posts 35

Agree with @blingwad, mattress and PJ’s go a long way, especially PJ’s on long overnight flights. Also, get rid of those big overhead reading lights, one person turns on those overhead reading lights in a darkened cabin and 2-3 seats all around them have to suffer with the light, todays business class seats don’t really need those bright lights overhead. Getting rid of the meals on the cart is also a great move, don’t know of any other airline that does that in business class
THR
THR

20 Sep 2012

Total posts 60

We are booked Cathay SYD-HKG (onwards to SGN and returning from HAN/HKG) over Christmas. Will be interested to see if this is rolled out by then (at least on the SYD-HKG and HKG-SYD legs, which are A350 and 777, respectively).

QFF

19 Sep 2013

Total posts 152

Would prefer to have on-demand meals, similar to Qatar. On the long flights, being woken up for the second meal while still 6-8 hours to go to touchdown seems crazy to me.

05 Jul 2016

Total posts 20

On which route is this the case? I flew Cathay to Australia, NZ, South Africa, Europe, Dubai, East and West Coast in the US in both directions and never is second meal served 6-8 hours to go. One meal after take-off and second one before landing (max 2-3 hours to touchdown)
I think Cathay needs to be looking at a better sleep experience such as a mattress cover and even PJs. Dine on demand is great for the business traveller but could be too 'hard' for CX to deliver unless they add more crew, as I think that's been a bit limit in the past.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Aug 2017

Total posts 86

Yes Cathay hard product is still good in J but bedding mattress for sure and PJ’S.

15 Jan 2015

Total posts 4

wow ground breaking stuff! This is what Virgin Australia long haul has been doing for 10Years, individual plated meals , a restaurant style service with breakfast cards and individual turn down. I don't think people see the Value for money you get with Virgin going up against bigger carriers.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Dec 2016

Total posts 14

I think it was on the A350 with Cathay where a fantastic burger and chips was offered as a snack. Not exactly dine on demand but perfect when waking up hungry mid-flight having already dined in the lounge.

What they need are personal, adjustable air vents for each seat. Between the Bose and eye shade it gets HOT!

QF

25 Feb 2014

Total posts 20

the caabin needs warmth and personality as Cathy business always reminds me of my dentists office, grey and sterile.

21 Aug 2015

Total posts 90

Just give me some PJs and a padded mattress please.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Mar 2016

Total posts 3

Absolutely agree with everyone who suggests a mattress. Such a small thing would make a massive difference.

05 Aug 2016

Total posts 4

A padded mattress please. improved menu and meal presentation. Overhead down light unnecessary.

Last 3 years have booked CX to Europe Last year not so good Trying another carrier this year


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