BY JAMES WILKINSON
Cathay Pacific has released details of its highly anticipated new Premium Economy Class, a cabin that’s set to boost business travel on key routes across Asia-Pacific, including Sydney.
Cathay Pacific Chief Executive John Slosar said the new Premium Economy Class would be progressively introduced across the airline’s long-haul flights from March 2012 and would soon be available for booking on flights from April 2012 onwards.
At the same time, he said the airline would introduce a new, wider Economy Class seat across the fleet. This comes as the airline continues to roll-out its new Business Class seat which is one of the most spacious in the sky.
“We are really excited about these latest innovations,” he said. “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.”
Slosar has high expectations on the success of the new cabin, particularly on the back of the success with the new Business Class roll-out.
“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,” he said.
Cathay’s new Premium Economy cabin will be “quieter, more spacious cabin than the existing Economy Class” according to the airline and will feature a seat pitch of 38 inches – six more than Economy – along with a greater recline, a 10.6-inch television screen, large meal table, cocktail table and foot rest.
The Premium Economy seats will also feature a power outlet, a multi-port connector for personal electronic devices and additional storage space. On the comfort side, larger pillows and noise-cancelling headsets will also be included.
According to Cathay Pacific, Premium Economy will initially be available on flights from Hong Kong to Sydney, Toronto and Vancouver and New York routes, followed by London, Los Angeles, San Francisco, continental Europe and other long-haul routes.
The product will eventually be installed on 87 aircraft – including Boeing 777-300ERs, Boeing 747-400s, Airbus A330-300s and Airbus A340-300s – and the first aircraft fitted with the new seats will enter service in March 2012.