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Friday, June 14, 2013

Cathay Pacific Airways will roll out a refreshed First Class cabin on July 24 2013

The current Cathay Pacific First Class cabin
The current Cathay Pacific First Class cabin. Image by Cathay Pacific Airways.

oneworld alliance partner Cathay Pacific Airways (CX) reveals in its monthly magazine for staffs and friends that it will start refreshing its First Class cabin in the coming months to complete the overhaul of its long-haul products. Similar to JAL's latest JAL Suite refresh on SKY SUITE 777, CX's refresh will not be a complete overhaul. It is mainly refreshing the look with other minor enhancements to give a fresh new look to its First Class passengers. That's why it dubs the program as a "midlife refresh" instead of an overhaul.

The redesigned First Class section of The Wing.
The redesigned First Class section of The Wing. Image by Cathay Pacific Airways

The redesigned First Class section of The Wing.
The redesigned First Class section of The Wing. Image by Cathay Pacific Airways

Foster + Partners who redesigned CX's flagship lounge, The Wing, at Hong Kong is also responsible for designing the new First Class cabin. Some of the elements of the lounge's design will be brought into the refreshed First Class cabin as well.

Unfortunately, CX World did not provide a picture. But the article gives a detail description on the new design.
Highlights will include a glossy dark grey texture material on the outer surface of the suite, warm-toned natural leather for most of the interior surfaces and a plush burgundy carpet in the aisle.

Seats will be refitted with a custom-made fabric that is soft and smooth to touch, while individual artworks, made of copper and steel and created by Maria Lobo and Linda Leviton, will complement the overall cabin design.
Other than the look, there will be some other functional improvements as well.

  • More adjustable meal table
  • Drink holder on side console
  • Roomier personal closet
  • Touch-screen seat and light controller
  • Completely redesigned bedding
  • New sleep suit from Pye
  • Bose QuietComfort noise-canceling headphones
  • New basin and counter top in the lavatory

Some of the main issues I had with CX First Class is that it was quite hard to get out of your seat during meal service and the low-quality noise-canceling headphones. The new seats and offerings will probably address these. Hopefully some kind of memory foam will be used in the redesigned bedding. The current one is bit uncomfortable. But unfortunately the seat/bed shape would remain triangular and I would have the same problem with legroom in the bed position.

CX will first roll out the new First Class cabin on July 27. It will take about a year for CX to retrofit its current fleet on 24 777-300ERs. However, since the 747-400 fleet are about to be retired, it won't be getting the redesigned cabin. Given the rollout is only around 1.5 months away, CX will probably officially unveil the new cabin very soon :)


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