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Cathay Pacific previews new Business Class product

15 Aug 2001

Cathay Pacific Airways today previewed its new long haul Business Class product featuring what it believes to be the longest and widest stretch-flat seat in the sky, an exclusive bar and reception area for passengers to meet and mingle inflight, and a private dressing room. The new cabin is emerging from an aggressive 18 month development cycle and incorporates extensive research on the requirements of today's business passengers. The first aircraft featuring the new product -- an Airbus A330 -- will enter passenger service this week.

Cathay Pacific's new business class seats provide passengers with maximum comfort. The airline believes they are currently the longest and widest seats of their kind in the sky, and allow even the tallest passengers to stretch out comfortably to a full six feet and three inches.
The centrepiece of the new cabin is the revolutionary seat design which allows even the tallest passengers to stretch out to a full six feet and three inches at a gentle incline of thirteen degrees inflight. The seat is infinitely adjustable between the stretch-flat mode and the upright takeoff-and-landing position. Detailed independent research has shown that in an aircraft environment most passengers will probably prefer to snooze with the seat in an intermediate position, which cradles them like a traditional "lounger" style chair.

The seat's ample headrest adjusts in six different ways, and even the lumbar support offers four different adjustments. The new seat is also surrounded by a privacy "cocoon" to prevent sleepers ever being disturbed by other passengers seated behind or beside them. An adjustable privacy screen is also included, and the number of seats in Business Class has been reduced to offer all passengers more personal space.

Cathay Pacific Director Service Delivery Robert Cutler said: "The launch of our new long haul Business Class product sets new standards in inflight service. We have listened to what our passengers want, and in addition to enhancing the basic bed we have added a whole host of features that Business travellers are sure to value."

The interior design has created a modern, refreshing - yet relaxing - environment using a palette of neutral tones accented with brighter colours. There are two colours of seats, and a variety of pillow colours. The pillows offer passengers the choice of cotton on one side, or silk on the other. Programmable cabin lighting changes across a spectrum of colours to mirror the outside environment and create a relaxed mood.

The well cushioned seats are 20.5 inches wide excluding the generous armrests and cocktail tray area. The new seats are installed in a 2-2-2 configuration on the Airbus A330/340s. The redesigned cabin features the best of modern interior design and offers a new cocktail bar refreshment area with attractive granite worktops and designer lighting, a private dressing room with full length mirror, coat hooks and fold down seats, and will also soon feature new toilet facilities with colourful tiled interiors.

A private dressing room, with full length mirror, coat hooks and fold down seats, is available on Cathay Pacific's Boeing B747-400 and Airbus A340-300 aircraft fitted with the new business class cabin.
Other notable features include extra personal stowage space, coat hooks at every seat, a larger literature pocket for books and newspapers, a larger meal table, and the addition of a sizeable secondary table stowed in the unit in front. The extra table is a unique feature and, in addition to the extra workspace, would for example allow passengers to get up without having to clear away books, laptop computers or snacks. A special mineral water bottle holder in the seat arm is another thoughtful design feature.

Working on board has also been simplified with USB data sockets in every seat connecting to the Tenzing inflight email and Intranet service. Cathay Pacific is the first airline in the world to offer an onboard high-speed data network.

The new network will allow passengers to access email and Web content from selected news, sports and entertainment sites inflight at speeds of up to 11 Mbps anywhere in the world -- from halfway across the Pacific to the middle of Siberia. All of the new seats also include a laptop power supply, and flexible, directable, dimmable reading lights.

Inflight entertainment (IFE) is increasingly important to passengers, and Cathay Pacific's recently launched StudioCX -- a fresh new IFE brand -- is an important part of the new Business Class product. StudioCX is built around three basic elements: entertainment, communication, and information.

Entertainment enhancements in Business Class include the introduction of noise cancelling headsets to enjoy many new channels of music, television and movies with crystal clear audio. The 10.4" personal television screen is almost double the size of the current Business class screens, and being a fixed installation passengers no longer ever need to unfold or stow screens for takeoff and landing.

The new Business Class will also be installed with AVOD - Audio and Video on Demand - allowing passengers to select which movie they want to watch, exactly when they want to watch it. AVOD promises superior digital picture and sound quality.

In addition to the email and Intranet connection communication has been improved with in-seat personal telephones. Up to date information is also available via an enhanced Airshow moving map which can also feature current financial data, headlines, and sports scores.

The new Business Class will be progressively introduced on long-haul aircraft in coming months. Another four brand new A330s with the new Business Class cabin are due to arrive direct from the Airbus factory in Toulouse, France later this year. The new Business class cabin will also be installed in all the airline's Boeing B747-400s.