Airbus’ latest model, the A350, has seen much popularity among airlines that fly mid- to long-haul routes, including Qatar, Singapore Airlines, and Etihad. Qatar began commercial service with the A350 just two months ago.
Via The New Zealand Herald, the fourth biggest customer of the A350, Cathay Pacific, has just revealed that it will be flying the A350-900 variant to New Zealand. Cathay is scheduled to take delivery of their first A350 in February 2016 and will fly them on short-haul routes as a test run for the first few months.
…but perhaps most exciting is the announcement that revamped business class seats will be installed on the A350s. The current product found on the flagship 777-300ER is already one of the best in the industry, but Cathay is looking to improve upon it.
View from the Wing mentioned that the seats will come from Porsche Design and be an evolution, not an revolution from the current seats. However, it sounds like Cathay may have just spilled the beans on some additional cool features, including a dual-screen experience (read: touch screen remote). While the A350 will likely be the first to see these new seats, they should be rolled out to the rest of the fleet quickly.
The number of business class seats for that route will also be dramatically increased—from 26 seats on the A340 to 38 seats on the A350. That’s a whopping 46% more compared to what the same route have been seeing. The article also suggests that the new aircrafts may see Wi-Fi availability, something Cathay has hesitated to install its planes for a very long time.
I am excited to see what Cathay’s A350s will look like. However, the longer range variant, A350-1000, won’t be in service until 2018, so passengers in North America probably won’t get to experience the A350 until then.