There’s a nudge in the “aviation market leaderboard” on this fine Monday morning…
Cathay Pacific introduces new “Aria Suite”
This morning, Cathay Pacific teased their new business class seat on their website. There’s a full video posted on their website, but I’ve taken some screenshots which you can see below:
Cathay Pacific Aria Suite
What we know of this seat so far
Cathay Pacific is tagging along with some other airlines’ effort to stir excitement about their new premium cabin product, but they’ve made their initial a lot more obvious than most other airlines have. Here’s what we can tell based on what Cathay Pacific has revealed so far:
- This will be a reverse herringbone seat with a door: it looks more like a heavily modified version of the Collins Aerospace business class seat (currently available on British Airways and Etihad, among others), as opposed to the Adient Ascent business class seat (available on Qatar Airways), though I may be wrong
- It seems like they’ve modified the seat contour so that the door will close completely, as opposed to British Airways and Etihad’s versions, which leave a small gap
- The seat will feature wireless charging, and the side table will open up to reveal a storage cubby
- The colours will be more akin to Cathay Pacific’s new A321neo seats, as opposed to their older sea green colour palette
Unlike a few other business class seats with doors, Cathay Pacific’s doors will provide a completely enclosed space (under the seat shell)
Additionally, Cathay Pacific has announced that this seat will be flying from the second quarter of 2024 starting with their 777-300ERs. I’d hedge my bets that CX 251/252 to/from London will probably get these seats first, unless they’re not planning on installing first class on these planes.
Ooooh, this is exciting
If I’ll be honest, I think that doors in business class seats provide a better experience (that feels a lot more premium), but not by much. Now that seat manufacturers have incorporated doors in business class seats in practical ways, they’ve become great marketing ploys for more premium airlines. It’s definitely smart of Cathay Pacific to play towards a market that heavily latches on to such strategies.
That being said, it’s exciting to see some of the unique features that Cathay Pacific has already incorporated into their business class seat. I think that Cathay Pacific’s current business class seat is one of the best in the industry, mainly because of how well-designed it is, and how bed space and storage space is maximised. I’m hoping to see some considerations in maximising bed width incorporated into the new seat design for the Aria Suite, despite the presence of a door.
It’s also interesting that these seats are being introduced on 777-300ERs, and not A350s. Cathay Pacific was originally planning to introduce a new business class seat on their 777X aircraft, and it’s news to me that they’re refurbishing their 777-300ERs and giving them a new lease of life. Cathay Pacific’s 777-300ERs currently feature a good, but dated reverse herringbone business class product, which has been around for around 12 years now.
Cathay Pacific is introducing a new Aria Suite, a custom-designed reverse herringbone seat with a door, onboard its 777-300ERs starting from the second half of 2024. This will definitely be an improvement over their current aging seats on their 777s, though only time will tell whether they’re a marked improvement over the current A350 business class seat, which I think is excellent.
I’m hoping to make a speculative booking for this product at some point, especially if it makes it onto the London route.
What do you make of the new Aria Suite?