Cathay Pacific 777 Regional Business Class In 10 Pictures

Yesterday I flew Cathay Pacific’s regional business class for the 4hr20min flight from Bali to Hong Kong. I won’t be writing a full review of the flight, though figured I’d share my brief thoughts on the experience.

The flight was operated by Cathay’s regional 777-300, which unfortunately doesn’t feature the same excellent first class and business class products found on their longhaul 777-300s.

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The 777-300 has a total of 42 business class seats. These are spread across six rows in a 2-3-2 configuration. These seats are fairly new, so at least the cabin looks modern. It’s unfortunate when premium cabins have middle seats, though I suppose for a fairly short flight that’s not too big of a deal.

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Seat pitch is advertised as being 45 inches. That’s probably true, though these are “shell” seats, so you really don’t get the full benefit of the spaciousness of the seats. That means that when you recline the seat you’re not taking away any room from those seated behind you.

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The seats have personal entertainment systems, as well as storage in the center section for glasses, a phone, etc.

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Before takeoff there was a choice of pre-departure beverages, all served in proper glassware. The choice was between water, orange juice, and champagne. For anyone wondering, Cathay Pacific serves Billecart-Salmon champagne in regional business class.

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Menus and landing cards for Hong Kong were distributed after takeoff, and the inflight service manager came around to greet oneworld Emerald members (at least that’s what I believe was happening).

Then the dinner service began, starting with warm mixed nuts.

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The appetizer consisted of cajun spiced prawns with green mango salad. Then there was a salad with cucumbers and tomatoes, as well as a selection of bread from the breadbasket (Cathay’s garlic bread is always excellent).

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As usual in Cathay Pacific business class, main courses were rolled down the aisle on a cart, so you could visually choose what you wanted. I had the yellow curry halibut, with spicy green beans and steamed rice. The dish was excellent, though on the small side (at least if you don’t want to eat all the rice).

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After that the crew rolled a cart down the aisle with a selection of fruit and cheese. I just asked for a selection of fruit. It’s nice that they plate this right in front of you.

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Lastly the crew served dessert along with coffee and tea. The dessert consisted of chestnut mousse cake, which had a unique flavor. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a chestnut cake before.

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The meal service was done about 90 minutes into the flight, so we had about three hours to go.

The crew on this sector was excellent. All of the flight attendants were charming, friendly, and attentive. That’s despite the fact that they had a really long day, as they were flying from Hong Kong to Bali and back.

This flight felt really long. Perhaps it’s because of the lack of wifi, as well as the evening departure, which meant I was tired and ready to sleep.

Overall Cathay Pacific’s regional business class is perfectly fine. The soft product was good, while I don’t love the seats in this configuration, as I find it’s tough to get comfortable in them. Fortunately Cathay Pacific operates longhaul configured aircraft on many routes within Asia, so often these seats can be avoided.

If you’ve flown Cathay Pacific’s regional business class, what was your experience like?

Comments

  1. Thank you for this nice review. In Europe at Lufthansa for example, on similar distances like CAI-FRA or TLV-FRA you get economy seats with minimalistic recline and without IFE in Business Class. So, this 777-300 hard product looks like the paradise on earth in my eyes.

  2. I’m only a One World Ruby and was greeted by the ISM on this flight. She actually seemed to be greeting everyone in business class.

  3. Ben,

    Is this product similar to Cathay Dragon? I’m flying CX for the first time next week. F from SFO to HKG and then Cathay Dragon A320 J to Hanoi. Thanks….

  4. “Cathay Pacific serves Billecart-Salmon champagne in regional business class.” – I am sold!

    Lucky, your dessert looks like it’s been inspired by the Mont-Blanc cake by famous Parisian patisserie, Angelina. (They also do an amazing hot chocolate, maybe something to try on your next trip to Paris!).

  5. It could be worse. Imagine being scheduled on an A330 with Cirrus lie flat seats on HKG MLE only to find an aircraft swap on departure day to an A330 with that regional configuration. Now that felt like a long flight.

  6. @Mavis

    No, chestnut paste cakes are very common and standard fare in Hong Kong and other places in the in bakeries typically owned by Chinese individuals.

  7. I’ve flown this configuration a couple of times and I actually really enjoy it. I don’t tend to fly inter-Asia red-eyes…if that’s even a thing, really…so I’m perfectly fine with a large, comfy seat as I don’t feel the need to sleep during the day. I also don’t think I’m as tethered to internet as Ben is since the myriad PowerPoint decks I have to read/create/edit don’t need an internet connection. Plus I adore the CX soft product in general, so I’m always kind of excited to fly with them even if it’s just a short hop within Asia. As for the seat itself, I find it perfectly comfortable for sitting/working, and there’s enough recline to catch a quick snooze as I would in a La-Z-Boy, slack-jawed and snoring.

  8. The single best instance of CX regional business class I’ve had was on a last minute substitution of a 747-400 in place of a 777-300 on the very short HKG-TPE. My wife and I got to be the only passengers in the F cabin 😀

  9. Anybody know how to find longhaul configured Cathay Pacific and Dragonair flights operating within Asia that Lucky refers to? I will soon be booking either HKG-DPS or HKG-MDL after a long flight from JFK and would love to be able to get lie flat seats to sleep on.

  10. I’ve flown these seats on numerous occasions. It’s okay for a daytime flight but for night flights and red-eyes especially to Singapore, Japan, Korea, etc., a bed would be more proper. Luckily for Singapore, they do use 77W’s on occasion for the red-eye flights. For Japan and Korea, the regional product is more prevalent. It can use a proper foot rest and a bigger screen would be nice.

    Fortunately, there is some good news. Cathay is currently looking to replace these regional seats with a staggered configuration and a proper bed. They are already testing them at their HQ. They’ll be taking up 5 used 777-300’s from Emirates early next year to replace the aging 777-200’s which will be gone next year if things go as planned.

    As far as the food goes, good to hear it was excellent on your part. Food on CX is a hit or miss and has certainly gone downhill. As for the chestnut cake, I kinda like it tbh.

    P.s. You should’ve tried the A350 somehow like the flight to LGW.

    @Rick: It’s really the luck of the draw on what day. You can check during booking if it’s a 1-2-1 or 2-2-2 or 2-3-2 configuration. There are days when they use longhaul configurations and others with the regional configuration. Just to add, subject to aircraft swap as well. Pretty much you won’t know what you get till you’re at the gate and onboard.

  11. Long haul configuration is only available on profitable routes… hkg-pek on Cathay 390 etc (*not* Cathay Dragon) and I think some of the Cathay flights to Tokyo (and Singapore?)

  12. I love reading you reviews especially this one as I will be on the same route in few weeks time.

    Can you please tell me if they had any vegetarian options on the Business class menu? I contacted Cathay pacific and was advised that they always have one vegetarian option but all the photos online regarding their ‘Regional Business Class’ show only meat/fish. I am not a fussy eater, I just do not like eating animals and I do not want to be awkward with ordering a special meal but it would be nice to know in advance if I should order one.

    We will also be flying on their A350 from LGW, which I am excited about. This will be first time with Cathay pacific for us and we cannot wait.

  13. Lucky, you were lucky. We had a 9am flight from HK to NRT on CP. No alcohol for the entire flight. By the time they got to us, even though we were in row 2 (maybe bc we were on award tix?) all they had left was some sad looking Dim Sum, which we passed on. Good thing that since our NRT-LAX connection was in FC we had eaten breakfast at the Haven, and visited the Champagne Bar, before the flight. For a 4 hour J flight, we found everything, including the angle flat seats, lukewarm service, and lack of drinks/food very disappointing.

  14. Interesting that CX uses the regional business class for this route (and BKK, NRT, etc), yet several MNL flights a day get the 77W, with F and the reverse herringbone C. Maybe because it’s a shorter hop (<2 hrs), so used for utilization between long-hauls?

  15. @Rick

    I flew HKG-SIN in CX J last summer and scored the long-haul config on the A330. If I remember correctly, I looked at the configuration of each flight that day and cross checked it with the different maps on SeatGuru. Luckily, there were no last minute equipment swaps either.

  16. @Bob

    Mavis is correct. That photo is definitely a Mont Blanc cake. They are very popular in Japan also where they have been sold since the 1930’s. Mont Blanc uses piped chestnut puree while traditional Chinese chestnut cakes tend to use pieces of chestnut in a bean paste.

  17. @DougG – yes, it is an unbelievably amazing hot chocolate!

    @Stephen – thanks. It was that spagetti-esque piping of the chestnut cream, I’ve only ever seen that on a Mont Blanc. But for Bob’s sake I don’t doubt the use of chestnut in HK pastries too.

  18. @Stephen @Mavis To the contrary, I’ve seen the spaghetti-esque piped chestnut cakes all over cakes in Asian bakeries in HK, Vancouver, New York, and other cities with a predominately large Cantonese/Chinese population

  19. These regional seats are awful in my view. As you say, no way to get really comfortable with them. I find that the upright position is actually the most comfortable, which is a pretty bad thing to say about a hard-shell business class seat with relatively good space.

    Alas, the regional routes that get the long-haul product tend to be the shortest ones, like Manila and Taipei. It makes sense as they fill the short gap between long haul rotations. Pretty much all routes over 3 hours get this very poor product.

  20. I flew HKG-SIN-HKG in CX’s Regional Business Class several weeks ago. We were pretty disappointed by CX’s last minute equipment swap from a lie-flat 2-2 aircraft to an angled 2-3-2 aircraft. The seats are wide enough, but they’re not really comfortable to sleep in. I’ve experienced “equipment roulette” in HKG more than once and it’s getting old. Next time, it’s SQ in and out of SIN.

  21. I really don’t know why this plane configuration is scheduled on CX 524 a HKG-NRT red-eye (1:05 AM departure). While it’s generally good for sitting, sleeping is a different thing all-together. I wish they would swap this out for the long-haul product. I have to actually take this flight since it’s the shortest connection, and the arrival time in NRT at 6am is decent enough that I can get into Tokyo by breakfast at 8-ish in the morning.

  22. Flew Garuda Indonesia HKG-Bali on this route on new year’s eve. The Biz seats were revere herringbone style on their refurbished A330 (1-2-1). Very comfy, good food, and attentive service. Return was older angled-flat in Biz also on A330 (2-2-2) but still a lot more legroom than CX. Would definitely fly Garuda again.

  23. Forgive my ignorance (just started this hobby), but does CX offer first class product on inter-Asia routes? I saw Lucky’s review from May 2013 of CX first class for HKG to SIN, but looking on SeatGuru, I see that HKG-SIN flights have only business class (and economy).

  24. Nevermind, I do see on SeatGuru that CX First is offered occasionally on the HKG-SIN route. Thank you.

    Is it any different in terms of quality of CX First long haul flights? I assume the seat configuration is the same on the regional routes.

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