Changes in passenger demand have convinced Cathay Pacific Airways (CX) to install a Premium Economy product, creating a fourth class in cabins across its network.
Announcing the airline’s return to profitability, Christopher Pratt, CX chairman, said that while passenger traffic and prices for Business Class had been rising the past four to five months, passenger yields had still to return to 2007 levels.
In such altered business conditions, a Premium Economy cabin could help capture a clientele looking to trade down from Business Class – for reasons of cost cutting – and as well as those wanting to trade up from Economy.
Pratt reported that CX was keen to roll out the new seats by 2012.
Competitors British Airways and Qantas Airlines feature Premium Economy seating.
CX posted a HK$4.69 billion (US$604.42 million) net annual profit, following an HK$8.7 billion (US$1.12 billion) loss in 2008. According to the South China Morning Post, the better-than-expected profit resulted from “selling part of its stake in Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Co, the write- back of fuel hedging losses amounting to HK$2.76 billon (US$355.69 million) and also a solid recovery in its core airline operations business.
For more details, visit www.cathaypacific.com
Margie T Logarta