Cathay Pacific is set to begin trialling a business class dine on demand service on select routes this May and June as part of the airline’s review of its business class service proposition, which it started last year.

The carrier has worked with hospitality consultants over the past months to develop its new business class service concept. A small group of staff will be extensively re-trained as part of the trial.

“The new business class service concept supports Cathay Pacific’s customer-centric philosophy by putting our customers at the heart of the experience, providing them more flexibility – both in terms of choice from our inflight menus and when they can choose to dine,” said a spokesperson in a response to Business Traveller Asia-Pacific.

“After several months of design work (throughout which we have worked closely with our cabin crew) we are now ready to test the concept in the air by way of trials on select routes.”

The dine on demand trial it set to begin on Cathay Pacific’s CX343/CX344 Hong Kong-London Gatwick route aboard its three-class Airbus A350, starting May 1 and ending May 31. The trial will then move to the airline’s CX806/CX807 Hong Kong-Chicago service from June 1 to June 30, operated by a four-class Boeing 777-300ER.

According to the airline, these routes were chosen as they are representative of a large number of ultra-long-haul routes that Cathay Pacific operates. Customer preferences will be assessed based on flight times and durations, along with cabin crew feedback on service flows aboard different aircraft. “Together these insights will help us refine the new business class concept to ensure it can be delivered consistently,” the spokesperson added.

The two routes will revert to their regular dining service after the trial period has completed while Cathay Pacific evaluates the results and plans its next steps.

While specific menu offerings have not been unveiled, the trial will comprise in-the-air ordering rather than pre-ordering. According to the spokesperson, pre-ordering of inflight meals “is an entirely separate concept and will take time to develop. While this is a concept that we are looking to provide in the future, there is no confirmed information or rollout details to share at this time.”