Cathay Pacific has taken delivery of a new Airbus 330-300, the 95th aircraft in its fleet, that previews a new-generation entertainment system offering passengers greater choice and control over their inflight viewing and listening.
The system incorporates more intuitive navigation through movies, music, information and short feature programming plus a few new “little things” designed to make passengers’ entertainment experience more pleasurable. This preview on the airline’s latest aircraft will be followed by a fleet-wide rollout from November this year that should be completed next January.
Improvements, derived from the installation of new system software, will largely be available to First and Business Class passengers with access to Cathay Pacific’s StudioCX AVOD, or Audio/Visual On Demand, system. Economy Class passengers will see some changes too.Ê
Inspired by the advances in web and screen design, screen functions have been grouped together to give passengers swifter access to entertainment, information about their destination and other things such as inflight shopping, and guides in the use of inflight phones and email. Entertainment offerings can also be grouped according to language.
First and Business Class Passengers can create their own inflight “juke box” - a new feature that enables people to compile their own music play list from 100 CDs. They also have the option of displaying the remaining flight time - the information most often sought by passengers from Cathay Pacific’s current Air Show channel - discreetly in the corner of the screen while watching other shows. Handset functionality has also been enhanced with shortcut buttons.
New touches to the system in Economy Class include a clock indicating the remaining time to when programming on each channel will recommence. System changes are complemented with a new organic style of screen graphics in all classes.
The new delivery A330-300, which arrived in Hong Kong from the Airbus factory in Toulouse, France, last week, is the 26th aircraft of its type to join the Cathay Pacific fleet. It is in a three-class configuration and will be used on flights to and from Australia and the Middle East. Although outwardly identical to every other A330-300, it contains an array of new and updated electronics systems including the latest closed circuit cabin security cameras.
Cathay Pacific has three more A330-300s on firm order, another new Boeing 777-300, plus five used B747-400s, reconfigured to Cathay Pacific specifications. They include the world’s first B747-400 passenger-to-freighter conversion, the B747-400 ‘Special Freighter’, which will enter service with the airline in December 2005. Cathay Pacific will have 100 aircraft by its 60th Anniversary in September next year.
Cathay Pacific Manager Product Sarah Blomfield said, “Passenger feedback and the most recent advances in interactive screen design all played a part in our year-long project to once again raise the bar on Cathay Pacific’s award winning inflight entertainment. An all-new look, more straightforward navigation and some thoughtful new touches give passengers the kind of choice and personal programming control that they want.”