After Cathay’s announcement that they would be cramming more seats aboard their Boeing 777’s in Economy, rumours have started to fly about what those seats may look like. Given that the seats are estimated to enter service at around 2018, the product team should have already started the selection process for the new seats, so it’s entirely possible that they’ve already picked a supplier and started the customization process already.
Cathay Pacific’s Current Economy Class Offering
While we do our research before posting about rumours, we stress that this is purely speculation. Cathay may have chosen completely different seats for their cabins.
Initially, Runway Girl Network broke the news that Cathay Pacific would be using Recaro’s CL3710 seat, which is already used by airlines including KLM, Qatar Airways, TAM, all of which have 10 abreast configurations aboard their 777’s in Economy. This was based on the claims of a person called in for seat testing…
Recaro CL3710 Seat (courtesy Recaro)
However, more speculation has determined that Cathay will be using a relatively lesser known seat developed by HAECO Cabin Solutions called the Vector. Interestingly, both HAECO and Cathay are Swire Group companies, which likely allowed Cathay to give some design input to the seat.
HAECO Cabin Solutions Vector Y Seat (courtesy Haeco)
It is rumoured that the Vector Y seat is going to be installed on Cathay’s regional Boeing 777 aircraft, which is described by HAECO as a “basic seat with recline”. Of course, Cathay is likely going to customise it with frills including power ports and PTVs, given that – well – this is Cathay Pacific we are talking about. There has been speculation that given the base Vector Y seat design contains a tablet holder, it’s entirely possible that Cathay has decided to switch to a BYOD setup aboard their regional aircraft. It all goes does to whether or not Cathay is going to position their regional Economy Class product as a premium product.
On long-haul Boeing 777-300ER aircraft Cathay is rumoured to be installing the Vector Y+ seat, which is described by HAECO as a high-end Economy seat, including seat cushion articulation, power ports, personal televisions, and even footrests. It’s also going to be the same seat installed on Cathay’s A350-1000 aircraft, albeit narrower.
Of course, despite trying to cram in as many seats as possible on planes, Cathay still cares a little about the passenger experience. As such, we’re definitely going to see some enhancements to the seats to make the journey a little more comfortable. We’re likely going to see an improved version of the proprietary headrest aboard the A350, as well as enhanced storage options. There’s also been some talk about padding which conforms to the human body, providing improved in-flight comfort. Overall, it’s likely that we’re going to see a seat with the latest technologies.
Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Economy Class
Cathay’s choice to go from a 9 abreast configuration to a 10 abreast configuration is still very disappointing, especially when it is not the standard amongst its competitors. However, I’m very excited to see what Cathay will do with their brand new Economy class product.
Let’s just hope that Cathay Pacific actually delivers on their promises of enhanced seating on their seats.