Cathay Pacific is now the proud owner of its first Airbus A350, which comes complete with newly-designed seats fitted from tip to tail.
Each of the airline's twenty A350-900 jets will carry 280 passengers split between business class, premium economy and economy.
(That's up to 45 more seats than the three-class Airbus A330-300s which the A350 will gradually replace, with all of those additional seats allocated to the economy cabin.)
38 business class seats take pride of place at the pointy end of Cathay's A350.
They're based on the airline's current highly-regarded business class and in the same 1-2-1 layout – but with an updated design which CX is carefully positioning as a 'refresh' to improve the existing seat, based on extensive passenger surveys and in-person workshops.
Travellers will find improvements in storage space, the ability to slide the meal table closer towards you, a degree of tilt for the large HD video screen and more room for your knees, whichever side you lean towards.
There's also a compact premium economy cabin of 28 seats in a 2-4-2 arrangement.
(That's the same layout as on Cathay's Boeing 777-300ERs, but a little tighter in the middle compared to the 2-3-2 of the Airbus A330s.)
This sports an all-new design with a padded swing-up legrest built into every seat...
... unlike the airline's first premium economy offering (below), which has a proper legrest only in the first row of seats and a less comfortable swing-down 'T-bar' footrest for all other rows.
There's also two inches of extra legroom compared to Cathay's Boeing 777 jets due to a slightly greater distance between each row of seats.
The airline has also added a handy 'tablet tray' beneath each seat's inbuilt screen onto which passengers can perch a tablet or even a large-screen smartphone for watching BYO inflight video.
The rest of Cathay Pacific's A350 will be given over to 214 new economy seats ranked in a 3-3-3 grid...
...which also boast a similar tablet/smartphone ledge below their larger video screens:
Cathay Pacific's first commercial A350 service runs from Hong Kong to Manila on June 1 2016, joined on a daily basis by Taipei until the second aircraft arrives in July.
That's when fights will also commence to Bangkok, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City and Kansai, before swinging the fuel-efficient jet onto longer-range international routes to Europe from Q4, beginning with Dusseldorf and London Gatwick.
More on Cathay Pacific's new Airbus A350:
- Revealed: Cathay Pacific's new A350 business class seat
- Up close with Cathay's new A350 premium economy seat
- Cathay Pacific to offer inflight Internet
Additional reporting by Chris Chamberlin.
Australian Business Traveller is visiting Hong Kong as a guest of Cathay Pacific.
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