Cathay Pacific to revamp seating?

12 Oct 2010 by BusinessTraveller

Reports by Bloomberg today suggest that Cathay Pacific is poised to make changes to its economy and business class seating following passenger complaints.

At the same time it is likely the carrier will introduce a premium economy cabin as previously reported on this website (see online news March 11).

According to Bloomberg, the new seating revamp will be announced in early December with the overhaul taking two years to complete.

Quoted by Bloomberg, Shaun Rein, the MD of Shanghai-based China Market Research Group, said, “There has been a lot of criticism of these [economy class] seats. It seems that Cathay is listening.”

Readers of our online forum have also voiced their likes and dislikes of Cathay’s business class product.

No details are available of the type of seating which Cathay might install in business or premium economy. But it seems that Cathay will retain the fixed backshell seating for economy class.

A spokesman for B/E Aerospace (a seat manufacturer) told Bloomberg that his company was working with Cathay on cushion upgrades for the new seats. “We’re happy Cathay is taking the seats and putting them on an existing fleet,” he said, “The fixed back seats were specifically designed for Cathay.”

In a statement issued to Business Traveller, Cathay Pacific says,

“Premium economy is one of the many options that the airline is studying and we will make a proper announcement when there are more concrete details. The divergence between business and economy class products has become quite extreme, much bigger than there ever was before, and the pricing reflects that. So, it may well be that there is a market for an intermediate product, especially for long haul travel.

“While our passengers value the protection of living space afforded by the fixed backshell seat, we are constantly looking for ways we can further improve our products and services. We will certainly assess what more can be done to enhance the comfort and quality of our seating.”

For more information visit

Report by Alex McWhirter

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