Yesterday Cathay Pacific announced their new regional business class product.

Cathay Pacific has an outstanding long haul business class.. fully flat, direct aisle access, they took the innovative seat that US Airways first introduced and improved on it.

But their regional (intra-Asia) product is fairly antiquated.

I’ve written about it in the past, such as here and here.

I’d liken it to flying in United’s old recliner-style business class seats, better than US domestic first class for sure and better than flying business class inside Europe by miles, but not the same seat you get for transpacific or transatlantic flying on better carriers — and not what Singapore offers on its new regional (Airbus A330-300) product, examples here and here.

Here’s how Cathay describes the new regional product:

The principal feature of the new product is the seat, which offers an extensive recline, extended legrest and innovative cradle motion that ensure passengers can rest in comfort. The seat pitch has been increased from 45” to 47”, providing extra legroom for passengers. The in-seat width has also been increased from 20” to 21”, providing extra living space for passengers. The seat has also been sculpted to maximise passenger living space. Each seat is encased in a fixed shell ensuring that passengers’ living space is not encroached upon by the passenger in front.

The seat features independent electronic controls for recline and the legrest, allowing passengers to adjust the seat into their ideal position at the touch of a button. The ergonomically designed seat articulates into a comfortable “lazy-Z” position that allows passengers to be cradled in the optimum position for relaxation. Passenger comfort is further enhanced by a six-way movement headrest and an extended legrest.

The design of the seat has ensured that ample storage space is available for passengers’ personal baggage and items. Each seat is equipped with a universal power supply outlet to keep electronic devices fully charged. A multi-port connector includes an USB port that can be used to charge devices such as mobile phones and BlackBerry devices, and an iPhoneÒ/iPodÒ/iPadÒ connector that allows passengers to connect their own devices and watch video through the personal TV.

Other highlights of the product include the introduction of the StudioCX widescreen on-demand entertainment system, which is a new feature for Cathay Pacific’s regional fleet. Each seat is equipped with a new and enlarged 12.1 inch, touchscreen monitor, which is mounted into the back of the fixed seat, a large meal table that allows passengers ample space to spread out while they work or dine, and an extendable cocktail table.

The first regional Boeing 777 will get the new product in January 2013, the first Airbus A330 in the fourth quarter of 2013, and the retrofit is expected to take until the end of 2014 to complete.

They’re giving 2 extra inches of legroom and an extra inch of width. But the dimensions aren’t as generous as what Singapore offers on their A330-300. And it isn’t lie flat, which really surprises me.

The power and entertainment system are nice additions. And the seat will be better. The product, though, isn’t a game changer or current market leader.

  1. Gene said,

    While it would be nice, I don’t believe that lie-flat is necessary for the relatively short flights that these aircraft are used for.

  2. Coathanger said,

    Worth noting that CX Regional J is actually limited to short-haul flights, whereas the lie-flat seats on the SQ Regional J come out to Australia (where they are competing against the new Cirrus J product from CX).

  3. Gary said,

    @Coathanger you can certainly fly CX regional though on something like CMB-BKK-HKG-NRT… which is as much flying as Vancouver-Tokyo.

  4. pssteve said,

    In May I flew in a J coffin CX HKG-DPS (over 4 hours)upstairs in 747.Not an experience to be repeated.

  5. Hillrider said,

    @Gary worth noting that CMB-BKK-HKG-NRT is 500 miles shorter than AA’s SJO-DFW-ANC, all in 757 with 42″ pitch, no footrest, and no in-seat entertainment! :)

  6. Fred said,

    Just flew this the other day on HKG->BKK. Nice experience overall, but I was surprised that no movies were offered on StudioCX, only TV Shows! It’s a three hour flight so there was definitely time to catch a movie. Strange.

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