Cathay Pacific Refreshing Their Business Class Seat On The A350

Cathay Pacific offers a reverse herringbone seat in their longhaul business class cabin, which is my favorite business class product out there. Even though they’ve had it for years now, it’s still a cutting edge product, in my opinion.

Cathay-Pacific-Business-Class

The great thing about reverse herringbone seats is that they’re in a 1-2-1 configuration, so each seat has direct aisle access and a lot of privacy. In a way, it’s very similar to the “last generation” first class suites offered by many airlines.

Cathay-Pacific-Business-Class

Cathay Pacific will be among the first airlines to take delivery of the Airbus A350, as they have a total of 46 on order, including 20 A350-900s and 26 A350-1000s (what happened to the days where they started numbering aircraft series with -100?!).

Cathay-Orders

Cathay Pacific should be taking delivery of their first Airbus A350 in February 2016, and I’ve been curious to find out whether they’ll put the same business class product on the plane as they have on the A330 and 777s, or if they plan on introducing a new product.

Per AusBT, it looks like Cathay Pacific will be refreshing their business class product on the A350:

Cathay Pacific will launch its new business class seat in February 2016 on board its flagship Airbus A350 fleet, with a mid-life refresh for the current Boeing 777 and Airbus A330 business class to follow.

The seat will come from Zodiac Aerospace and belong to the same Cirrus family as Cathay’s existing business class, although CX product exec Toby Smith describes the platform to Australian Business Traveller as “an enhanced Cirrus.”

Little more is known about the new business class seat, except that it won’t be radically different to the airline’s current design.

“It will will be very much an evolution of our current seat rather than a brand new seat” Smith confirms.

“But we’ve listened very closely to areas that people said could be improved, and we’ve focussed on this. So while it should be very familiar to our passengers when it comes out, we hope to have some new touches that they will appreciate” Smith says.

And that makes perfect sense. The reverse herringbone seat offered by Cathay Pacific is still as good as business class products get, and I’m not really sure where they can go from there.

Cathay Pacific did recently refresh their first class cabins, whereby the “bones” of the seat stayed the same, though they updated the upholstery and finishes.

Cathay-Pacific-First-Class-Old
Cathay Pacific’s “old” first class product

Cathay-Pacific-First-Class-4
Cathay Pacific’s “refreshed” first class product

The difference between the new and old product is ever-so-minor.

Bottom line

My guess is that the changes in the business class product will be a bit more substantial than the first class refresh, though not by much. I can’t wait to fly the Cathay Pacific A350 in business class (it won’t have a first class cabin).

Anyone care to guess as to what the changes to Cathay Pacific’s business class seat will be?

Comments

  1. i also agree i like the old one better… the new one seems too bland.
    i’ve only seen pics tho, not in person.

  2. I flew ORD-HKG with the new CX F seat about a month ago. Couldn’t really tell the difference other than the “flower vase” on the wall that was never used.

  3. You know, I just gotta love that not only is the CX J product darn good, it’s *consistent*. I was looking at a routing from HKG to the US on JL in J because CX wasn’t available on the day that I wanted. There’s a 787 to BOS that looked good. Double checked on JL’s website, the 787 has the new J but no F at all. Ok fine. Triple checked and found out that JL launched the 787 with an inferior product and then decided to change their mind. WTF?

    Go for a ride in a CX premium cabin, and you know you’re going to get taken care of in the air and on the ground in HKG.

  4. Just avoid mid-morning short haul flights with CX. We recently flew CX J (there was no FC) from HKG to NRT, with a 9:30 am departure. After eating a small breakfast in the Wing, since we expected a full lunch on the plane, we discovered that despite the meal service beginning after 10 am, CX was only serving breakfast. There was dim sum, a very sad looking omelet, and teriyaki chicken. Well, apparently everyone wanted a real meal, so the chicken was long gone by the time they got to us. Oh, and no alcohol was offered either. After all, who would want champagne as early as noon, right?

    JAL made up for it in their NRT FC Lounge, where they had Heidsieck Champagne, Remy Martin XO Excellence 🙂 , and a Sushi Chef making things to order. But what was CX thinking? A four hour Business Class flight, with just a small omelet and no alcohol. So much for their “the most consistent airline” rating. 🙁

  5. Nope Abdel, I like the older CX F seat much more too (you are definitely not the only one.

    I’m not all that impressed by CX’s J product. There are better seats around now (and all direct aisle access seating in J is no longer a novelty), and I find CX’s Business Food and Beverage underwhelming. From what I understand, the J seat refresh is not going to be a major change either, which just may not cut it given the benchmarks being set now. It’s dangerous to rest on one’s previous laurels in the airline game now.

  6. @ Dan — Very true about JAL, though for what it’s worth it’s actually the other way around. They started with angled business class seats and are now reconfiguring the planes with a new business class product.

  7. Hi Lucky,

    Do you mind to do a future post talking about all the ways to collect miles to redeem for CX flights?
    Thanks,
    JC

  8. Lucky,
    I think AUSBT did mention a little while ago that CX will have F on their A350-1000 and they plan on introducing a new F product since by then the existing product would’ve been a little old to compete

  9. @ Jack — Sure, I’ll see what I can do. The best options are American and US Airways, though if I can add more value than that I will.

  10. Don’t expect any radical changes! It will be more of an “evolution” rather than a “revolution”.

    Also just for the record, CX has chosen Porsche to be onboard the design. SQ has selected BMW for their business class seats. So who wins between BMW and Porsche?! 😀 😛

  11. @ Ken: no routes announced but I interviewed a CX exec earlier this week who said that upon its arrival in February 2015 the first A350-900 will “do some route proving on short-haul regional flights” before being tasked to open up corridors to new cities in Europe.

    “We’re looking at places like secondary European destinations, and there may well be existing destinations which we we decide to swap out (for the A350).”

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