Cathay Pacific Plans Mid-Life Tweaks To First Class Product

Cathay Pacific Airways plans to give its popular First Class cabin a mid-life update. The airline’s 24 Boeing 777-300ER jets forming the backbone of its long-haul fleet will be upgraded, with the first aircraft returning to service by end-July 2013.

The seats will have a new touchscreen controller, reupholstered with a new fabric custom-made for Cathay Pacific and feature redesigned bedding elements. Taking into account passenger feedback, the seat’s tray table is now adjustable, with more room inside the personal closet and a drinks holder built into the new side console. Passengers on each flight will have a pair of BOSE noise-cancelling headphones, but will see the popular Shanghai Tang pyjamas replaced by a sleep suit from Hong Kong premium cotton and shirt specialist Pye.

The cabin environment will be reworked by award-winning Foster + Partners, introducing a new colour scheme with glossy dark grey panelling on the seat exterior, warm toned natural leather on the interior spaces and burgundy carpeting for the aisles. The bathrooms will receive new washbasins and countertops to complement the cabin redesign.

Cathay Pacific’s First Class refresh will bridge the gap until the introduction of its next-generation product around 2018, when the airline takes delivery of new Airbus A350-1000 jets. The decision also comes at a time when its rivals are planning new premium products, with Thai Airways fitting new suites to its Airbus A380s and Boeing 747s while Singapore Airlines will reveal new First and Business Class seats next month.

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