The last time I flew Cathay business in 2011, I missed having an aircraft with the newly configured business class seat by just a few months. I instead had the old high-walled herring-bone configuration (I actually didn’t mind the confined seat). Today, I’m flying JFK-HKG-BKK and will finally experience the updates that have won numerous “best in business” awards. After my awesome JAL SkySuite experience a few weeks ago – JAL SKY SUITE – My Favorite Business Class Flight? – UPDATE w/ viewable pics now, I hope that Cathay can live up to the hype.
Interestingly enough, Cathay still has handouts at JFK with details on the “new” business. You can also check out their interactive new business website here:
CATHAY PACIFIC’S NEW BUSINESS CLASS FACTSHEET
Cathay Pacific’s new Business Class product is the result of an intensive and iterative design process involving input from the airline’s Marco Polo Club members to refine comfort, versatility and function. This effort has culminated in a product where every aspect has been thoughtfully designed around passengers’ needs, providing a space in which to sleep, dine, work, read, watch TV or simply relax.
The new Business Class product will be installed on all of Cathay Pacific’s new long haul A330-300 and Boeing 777-300ER deliveries. The first A330 is due to enter service by March 2011, while the first Boeing 777-300ER is due to enter service in April 2011. The new Business Class product will also be progressively installed on all existing long-haul A330- 300 and Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. By February 2013, the airline will have all 30 of its Boeing 777-300ERs and 20 long-haul A330-300s with the product.
The New Business Class Cabin
As passengers enter the cabin, they immediately appreciate the sense of space and openness. Clean, sculpted lines define private seats with direct aisle access. Abstract patterns, richly woven fabrics, fresh-cut orchids and original artwork harmonise to create a warm, premium residential feel.
The instant a passenger steps into their private area, they notice the generous space available in the Side Storage, which is sufficient for handbags or laptop cases and complete with an easy-to-reach water bottle holder.
A Side Cabinet and Shoe Locker provide secure storage for small valuables and shoes. A Vanity Mirror is concealed under a flap inside the Side Cabinet door. During the flight the Side Cabinet can be fixed in the open position to double as a privacy screen.
Settling into the contemporary wing-back chair, passengers are cocooned in their own private area which has been sculpted to maximise living space. Individual privacy is assured without compromising freedom of movement.
Direct Window View
The outboard seats are gently angled towards the windows, giving passengers a perfect view.
Everything passengers need to control their environment is close at hand. The Entertainment Handset operates a widescreen on-demand entertainment system. A premium-car-style Seat Controller enables passengers to adjust their seat at the touch of a button – from upright, through the relax position and into a fully flat bed.
The bed is one of the longest and widest provided on any commercial airline, allowing passengers to sleep in any position. The foams have been ergonomically designed to optimise comfort in the sitting position and also to promote deep sleep.
A novel feature called the Bed Extension deploys automatically as the seat transforms into a bed, increasing the bed width. The Retractable Armrest can be lowered to further increase sleeping space or raised to act as a privacy screen.
The centre seats are gently angled towards each other, making them perfect for those travelling with a companion. When reclined into the seat with the screen deployed, privacy is assured. However with a touch of a button the seat slides forward allowing passengers to interact with their travel companions over a central Cocktail Table
Work and Entertainment Features
Each seat is equipped with a universal Power Supply outlet to keep electronic devices fully charged. A Multi-port Connector includes an RCA port, an iPhone/iPod connector and a USB port. The RCA and the iPhone/iPod connector allow passengers to connect their own devices and watch video through the Personal TV. The USB port can be used to charge devices such as mobile phones and BlackBerry devices.
The large Cocktail Table can be used in conjunction with the main table to allow passengers to spread out while they work. A reading light can be adjusted for brightness and angle.
Material and Finishes
The new Business Class features natural leather, brushed steel and richly woven fabrics that blend soothing green, brown and champagne tones. Abstract patterns on table tops, fresh- cut flowers and splashes of colour in storage areas provide elements of warmth.
A subtle bamboo print on the front cabin wall has lineage with reception wall in the new Hong Kong lounge, The Cabin. This provides a crisp, clean backdrop for original artwork created by Hong Kong artist Maria Lobo. Maria’s unique abstract works incorporate both Western and Asian techniques, supplementing the sophisticated, international appeal of the cabin with an Asian flavour.
New Service-ware and Bedding
Cathay Pacific is also introducing a new line of Business Class service-ware featuring simple, elegantly designed white porcelain by Narumi of Japan. The appetiser plate features an abstract bamboo pattern also found on the signature plate introduced in The Deli of the The Cabin. Introduced for the first time are stemless wine glasses, which allow wine to breathe more easily, along with modern stainless steel cutlery and new table linen. The iconic “pebble” salt and pepper shakers remain complement the new design perfectly.
Finally, Cathay Pacific is introducing a new range of duvets, blankets, pillows and cushions for the new cabin, all designed to maximise passenger comfort and complement the overall feel of the surroundings.