Cathay Pacific Airways (CX) has just launched its first Airbus A350-900 aircraft on its Hong Kong-Manila route. This new A350 features Cathay Pacific’s latest inflight products in the A350 Business Class which I have reviewed, Premium Economy Class and Economy Class cabins. The new Airbus A350 series will also be the first fleet to launch with the new Cathay Pacific livery (shown above). However, the airline’s existing fleet will be repainted with the new livery as aircraft go through their normal maintenance schedule over the next five years, with some 150 aircraft getting the new look in total.
The Airbus A350 is built largely from the lighter construction material, carbon fibre, which enables a 25 per cent increased operational efficiency. The A350 has a number of advantages over older jets including a quieter environment, larger panoramic windows, LED mood lighting that can simulate sunset and sunrise, lower cabin pressure and a high-efficiency filtration system that changes the air in the cabin completely every three minutes.
The Cathay Pacific Airbus A350 will also offer Wi-Fi connectivity for passengers for US$9.95 per hour, US$12.95 for a short-haul pass or US$19.95 for a long-haul pass.
The A350-900 can take 280 passengers in three classes: 38 in business class (1-2-1), 28 in premium economy (2-4-2) and 214 in economy (3-3-3). The new business class and premium economy seats on the A350 have been designed by Studio FA Porsche.
Business Class Seats On Cathay Pacific Airbus A350
The shell of the business class seats remains the same as previous business class seat designs, but seat pitch has been increased from 43 to 45 inches. The flat bed remains the same length at 75 inches long.
The most noteworthy addition is a new design of cushioned ottoman and side bench which become part of the bed and gives you more room for your feet and knees when you are sleeping on your side. Travellers will also enjoy improvements in storage space, the ability to slide the meal table closer towards you, a degree of tilt for the large HD video screen and more knee room.
Premium Economy Seats On Cathay Pacific Airbus A350
There is an intimate premium economy cabin of 28 seats in a 2-4-2 arrangement. The all-new design offers a padded swing-up leg rest built into every seat. There is also two inches of extra legroom (40 inch seat pitch) compared to Cathay’s Boeing 777. The airline has added a mini tablet tray beneath the in-seat TV screen where you can place a tablet or a large-screen smartphone to watch your own movies. A new retractable armrest in aisle seats means you can let passengers by without standing up and the personal reading lights are now movable and dimmable which is less annoying for other passengers.
Economy Seats On Cathay Pacific Airbus A350
214 new economy seats placed in a 3-3-3 layout include the tablet holder shelf that is also common to seats in premium economy, where you can place your iPad or phone to watch your own movies. Seats also feature larger video screens and adjustable head rests that stop your head flopping about if you fall asleep.
The new A350 routings include Bangkok, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City and Kansai. The A350 will start operating a Hong Kong-London Gatwick route in September 2016 followed by Hong Kong-Dusseldorf.
From 2018 onwards, Cathay Pacific also has twenty six A350-1000s on order. These larger aircraft have an increased capacity and distance capability.