Cathay Pacific Will Introduce A New Regional Business Class Product in 2019

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Cathay Pacific has long had one of the world’s most reputable business class products. While I love their international hard product (which I’ve flown on both regional and international routes), their regional hard product does leave a bit to be desired, as the seats aren’t easy to get comfortable in.

img_2538Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Regional Business Class

I’ve written quite a bit about the seat, but the overall feedback on the seat from both me and Jason has been quite negative, despite both of us thinking at times that the seat may not be as bad as we all say it is.

Some of the posts we’ve written on the seat include:

Overall most business travelers tend to agree with me, and believe that Cathay Pacific needs more differentiation between their regional business class and premium economy, which they also fly on regional routes for a much lower cost. While the seat is slightly wider and there is a difference in reclining ability (which isn’t large by any means), the quality of the amenities given in regional business class leave a bit to be desired.

Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon will release a new regional business class seat in 2019

Well, Cathay is listening, I guess. By 2019, Cathay Pacific will be releasing a new business class product that will be introduced onto new Cathay Dragon aircraft.

a large white airplane at an airportCathay Dragon Airbus A330-300 Hong Kong Airport

According to AusBT:

Whichever aircraft gets the nod, it will sport a new regional business class seat to replace the current model introduced in 2013.

And it definitely won’t be a fully flat bed.

“You don’t need it for a couple of hours’ flight and, given how many seats you’d need to compromise, it doesn’t make commercial sense” Evans explains.

“You just need to make sure you have a very good, very ‘Cathay’ business class on the regional routes and make sure there’s a fantastic crew to complement that.”

I’m fine with the seat not being not fully flat, but I’m certainly hoping that the seat will be either angled flat, or have more extensive seating positions compared to the current electronic recliners. The current recliners kind of limit seating positions, as you can only sleep on your front and prop your legs up much like you would in premium economy.

DSCF6132Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300 Business Class Reclined Seat

AusBT also states that the new seats will be first offered on the A320neo or Boeing 737 MAX fleet that Cathay Dragon has acquired, and for now, the business class seats on the A330s and regional 777s will get a refresh. There are currently no plans to refurbish the A330 or 777 regional fleet with the new seats, so all we’re seeing right now is a downgrade from 3-3-3 to 3-4-3 in economy on Cathay Pacific’s 777s (on the 777-300s, as I’d mentioned earlier, that’s almost an upgrade, given the dated and terribly padded shell sets that the 777-300s currently operate with).

a large airplane parked at an airportCathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Jakarta Airport

Bottom Line

I’m excited to see Cathay Pacific’s new business class seat, and hope that it’s more substantial than the regional business class product we see today. However, I’m certainly looking forward to some of the amenities coming along with the product – I don’t think the seat itself is substantially far off from premium economy, but it’s really the economy-style pillow and the downgraded headphones that makes the experience feel much less premium.

Is anyone else happy to see these seats be replaced?

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