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Premium economy flyers are in for a treat aboard Cathay Pacific's new Airbus A350s which take to the skies this week.
That's because the aircraft comes with an all-new seat that brings about both subtle and major improvements over the airline's current premium economy offering.
First and foremost: every passenger gets a padded legrest, not just those seated at the bulkhead...
... with the space between each row also improved over the Boeing 777-300ER at an even 40 inches, and a higher nine-degree recline versus the Boeing 777's eight inches.
Also beefed up is the inflight entertainment, both with a new Studio CX system and a larger 12.1-inch screen, against 10.6/11.1 inches on Cathay's other aircraft.
But with the good comes the not-so-good: the seats measure up at just 18.5 inches wide rather than the Boeing 777's 19.3 inches, and come in a 2-4-2 layout rather than the 2-3-2 you'd get aboard today's Airbus A330s.
Part of that difference is instead given over to a much-needed side storage panel for tablets and smaller laptops...
... controls for the seats and the inflight entertainment remote control...
... AC and USB power ports for each premium economy traveller...
... and a central cocktail table, joined by further swing-out trays that can either sit within your seat space (as below) or swivel further outward and in front of the console so you don't lose any room:
Also new is an adjustable and dimmable reading light which you can retrieve from within the headrest and angle toward your book, without illuminating the entire seat from above.
Other nifty touches include aisle-facing armrests which can be completely lowered, so that when the centre or window passenger needs to access the aisle, you can simply swivel around rather than standing up...
... seatback storage for your valuables in a pocket that's semi-transparent so that these aren't left behind...
... a tablet stand in front of the inflight entertainment screen if you'd prefer to watch your own content...
... and more traditionally, a general literature pocket:
Cathay Pacific's first passenger-carrying A350 flight takes wing from Hong Kong to Manila on June 1 2016, joined also by Taipei on a daily basis until Cathay's second A350 arrives in July.
That opens up Bangkok, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City and Kansai as A350 destinations, but which will give way to longer flights to Dusseldorf and London Gatwick in Q4 2016 and Auckland in the second half of the year.
More on Cathay Pacific's new Airbus A350:
- Revealed: Cathay Pacific's new A350 business class 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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