Cathay Pacific Airways today announced its New Business Class product is now featured on well over half of its long-haul fleet, with completion set for 2003. The New Business Class cabin is being installed on all Boeing B747-400s and Airbus A340s, and four three-class Airbus A330s operating on long-haul routes. The next aircraft joining the fleet with New Business Class will be a brand new Airbus A340-600.
The New Business Class features an entirely redesigned cabin with luxurious new seats, subtle mood lighting, an exclusive bar for passengers to meet and mingle in-flight, and mineral water bottle holders in each seat arm. Working on board has been simplified with a laptop power supply in every seat, dimmable reading lights on flexible, directable “stalks”, and USB data sockets for connecting to the Tenzing In-flight email.
Cathay Pacific places great importance on its regular focus groups with frequent flyers to research what features passengers value most, and also find out what they would like to see enhanced. The surveys have so far recorded an impressive approval rating for New Business Class, but the Product team has also spotted areas for further enhancement based on operational experience and passenger research:
* Incline has been reduced and cushioning increased to make the seats comfier. * Privacy between adjacent seats will also be increased using sliding screens.
* Additional toilet to be installed for Business Class passengers on all B747-400s.
The enhancements will be incorporated on all new long-haul aircraft, and retrofitted on existing aircraft by early 2003. The speed with which the new seat features can be implemented is testament to the seats’ clever, innovative design. They are infinitely adjustable between the stretch-flat mode and the upright position, and allow even the tallest passengers to stretch out fully flat to a generous six feet and three inches while inclined at a gentle 9 degree in-flight. Many passengers however use the seat in an intermediate position, like a traditional “lounger” style chair.
In-flight Entertainment features include AVOD - Audio and Video on Demand - allowing passengers to select the movie they want to watch, when they want to watch it. The 10.4” personal television screens are also almost double the size of the previous Business Class screens. AVOD offers superior digital picture and sound quality, and new noise cancelling headsets allow passengers to enjoy the almost 100 hours of movies and features and up to 100 music CD’s with crystal clear audio.