Cathay Pacific has reportedly finalised the seating configuration of its A350 XWB aircraft.
The carrier is scheduled to take delivery of the Airbus jet in February next year.
It will configure its A350 in three classes with 38 seats in business (1-2-1), 28 in premium economy (2-3-2), and 214 in economy.
In comparison to the A340, the A350 will offer 12 more seats in business class, and three more in economy.
Toby Smith, Cathay's general manager product, said: "The big increase is in the business class cabin. We have a lot of confidence in the premium market."
Auckland is set to be one of the first destinations that Cathay deploys its new aircraft too, reports The New Zealand Herald. The Hong Kong–Auckland route is currently being served by the ageing A340, which Cathay is to progressively retire as it takes delivery of newer airplanes.
Smith said: "That is subject to change for any number of reasons, but I think it's fair to say with the A340 currently on the [New Zealand] route being gradually phased out it's very likely that [the A350 XWB] will be deployed pretty quickly on the Auckland route."
Smith said Cathay is expecting to take delivery of 12 of the new widebody aircraft next year. It currently has 48 A350s on order – 22 of the A350-900 and 26 of the larger A350-1000 variant.
He also confirmed that the A350 will be capable of offering wifi to passengers. The airline will run trials for the service in order to ensure quality.
Smith said: "We want to make sure it is similar to what they get at the office or at home. We'll be conducting trials before rolling it out."
Last week, Cathay announced it is boosting capacity between Hong Kong and Sydney from October 1 by replacing one of its existing A330 services with a larger B777-300ER (see news, March 10).