Cathay Pacific Airways today released details of its new Premium Economy Class. The product, which will be progressively introduced on its long-haul flights from March 2012, will soon be available for passenger booking for flights departing from April 2012 onwards.
At the same time, the airline announced that it will progressively introduce a new Economy Class seat on the majority of its long-haul aircraft, also beginning from March.
Cathay Pacific Chief Executive John Slosar said: “We are really excited about these latest innovations. As always, the comfort of our customers was front and centre of our design process and we believe the results represent a very significant upgrade in the product we offer.
“Premium Economy will be a real upgrade over Economy, and passengers will get great value for a great product. The seat will have a generous recline and plenty of legroom, and passengers will also enjoy improved service and many other extras.
“Our new long-haul Economy Class seat will also provide more space and comfort, particularly in the enhanced recline position. And with lots of extras - including the latest in inflight touch-screen personal televisions and mobile device connectivity - those long flights will be even more interesting and enjoyable.”
Emphasising Cathay Pacific’s commitment to continuous improvement of the airline’s products and services, Mr Slosar added: “Earlier this year we introduced our new Business Class to great acclaim and I’m sure our Premium Economy will have just as big an impact. And our new long-haul Economy Class seat highlights our strategy of providing a superior experience in all classes of travel.”
The new Premium Economy product will feature a quieter, more spacious cabin than the existing Economy Class with between 26 and 34 seats. The seat pitch will be 38 inches – six inches more than Economy Class – and the seat itself will be wider and have a bigger recline. It will have a large meal table, cocktail table, footrest, a 10.6-inch personal television, an in-seat power outlet, a multi-port connector for personal devices, and extra personal stowage space.
Customers will be offered a range of tailored products on the ground and in the air to provide a new kind of experience when travelling on the airline. It is targeted at those travellers who value a more spacious seat in a more private cabin, along with dedicated services and a number of additional features not available in the existing Economy Class cabin.
On the ground, passengers will enjoy priority check-in at dedicated counters and priority boarding before traditional Economy Class passengers. There will also be an increase in baggage allowance from 20kg to 25kg (weight system) or two pieces of baggage from 23 kg to 25kg each (piece system).
In the air, the Premium Economy Class seat offers a higher level of comfort with more living space in a separate cabin before the Economy Class zone. Passengers will also receive an environmentally friendly amenity kit with dental kit, socks and eyeshade for use during the journey. Larger pillows and noise-cancelling headsets will be provided to enhance the onboard experience.
Premium Economy passengers will be welcomed aboard with juice and champagne, and enjoy an enhanced onboard meal selection. Each passenger will also receive a bottle of water and additional snack choices to include more fresh fruit, energy bar and dessert.
The new Premium Economy cabin will be installed on all Cathay Pacific long-haul aircraft including Boeing 777-300ERs, Boeing 747-400s, Airbus A330-300s and Airbus A340-300s. The first 777-300ER and Airbus A330-300 featuring Premium Economy Class will enter into service in March, and will be available for sale in the first quarter of 2012 for flights departing from April 2012 onwards.
The airline plans to have 87 aircraft fitted with the product by the end of 2013. Premium Economy will initially be featured on the Sydney, Toronto and Vancouver and New York routes, followed by London, Los Angeles, San Francisco, continental Europe and other long-haul routes as the number of aircraft fitted with the product increases.
The new long-haul Economy Class seat will feature a cradle mechanism to enhance the level of comfort in the recline position, the latest high-resolution touch-screen personal televisions, a USB outlet and an iPod/iPhone outlet that allows passengers to connect their own mobile devices to view content through the personal televisions. The seat will also offer improved living space and more personal storage space.
The new seats will be fitted on all Cathay Pacific long-haul Boeing 777-300ER and Airbus A330-300 aircraft. The first aircraft featuring the seats will enter service in March flying to Sydney and Toronto initially. A total of 36 Boeing 777-300ERs and 26 Airbus 330-300s will be fitted with the seats by December 2013.
Details of both the Premium Economy Class and the new long-haul Economy Class seat can be found in the table below:
* Please note that photographs of the new seats will not be available until early next year.