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Cathay Pacific's new Airbus A350s begin flying this week, bringing with them an upgraded seat and experience for business class travellers.
Based on the airline's existing 'Cirrus' business class product found on its Airbus A330s and Boeing 777s, the revised seat comes customised by Studio F.A. Porsche...
... with a similar yet slightly more refined feel over the current-generation seat it supersedes.
Immediately noticeable are new and improved storage spaces, beginning with the side panel: now featuring a netted pocket for smaller valuables like passports and smartphones...
... not to mention a larger mirror above it, handy for fixing your hair or make-up without needing to visit the lavatory:
Further around your seat, the previous storage nook near your knees is replaced by a proper storage bin with a closing lid...
... joined by a completely open space under the ottoman, sufficiently large for your laptop bag, handbag or shoes, which we'd always struggled to fit into the tiny shoe cupboard in the older Cirrus seat:
Your watter bottle now also has its own nook, tucked away within the aisle-facing armrest:
The seat controls retain a familiar feel but with noticeable improvements, including a dimmable reading light, 'one press' seat buttons and a touchscreen remote control:
That operates an 18.5-inch HD entertainment screen running an also-new Studio CX inflight system...
... which now includes a handy 'do not disturb' option if you'd rather be left alone, a 'wake up call' feature to inform the crew when you should be woken: either for the first or second meal or let sleep until close to landing...
... free satellite television channels (BBC World News, CNN and Euronews), and of course, a bird's eye view from the aircraft's tail and nose cameras. We're sure your view will be a little different, of course.
The tray table remains in a familiar position but can now slide towards you, which saves having to adjust your seat from the comfy angle you crafted earlier...
... and when it comes time to snooze, the seat extends into a fully-flat bed, stretching to the same 75 inches you'd find with the current seats.
There's a little give-and-take with the width, however, reduced from 21 to 20.2 inches on the main cushion but with more space in the knee zones on the left and right for travellers who sleep on their side...
... achieved through a new fold-up panel on the aisle side of the seat, which you'll need to retrieve manually after pressing the adjacent button:
The seat also maintains a private feel through the shaping of the outer shell...
... while couples travelling together can continue to chat across the centre cocktail tables, and solo flyers seated here can lean back and avoid seeing their seatmate:
Cathay Pacific's first commercial A350 flight runs from Hong Kong to Manila on June 1 2016, joined also by Taipei on a daily basis until the second A350 arrives in July.
That's when Bangkok, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City and Kansai will also appear on Cathay's A350 map, but all to be replaced by Dusseldorf and London Gatwick in Q4 2016 as the jets spread their wings onto longer routes.
More on Cathay Pacific's new Airbus A350:
- Up close with Cathay Pacific's new A350 premium economy seat
- Inside Cathay Pacific's all-new Airbus A350
- Cathay Pacific to offer inflight Internet
Chris Chamberlin is visiting Hong Kong as a guest of Cathay Pacific.
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