Cathay set sights on A321neo flights in August with new Enterprise Class cabin
Cathay Pacific is about to see the business take-off of its newest arrival, the A321neo. With the pandemic hitting at a pivotal time for the provider, commercially issues have been bittersweet. Whereas passenger numbers have been decimated for 18-months, the regrowth of the airline can now be expedited by the addition of a brand new narrow-body fleet that means skinny routes, as soon as operated by 777’s and A330’s, can return to profitability faster.
With the provider shaking off the behemoth seat depend it operated previous to the pandemic primarily as a result of its heavy wide-body fleet, what’s going to this imply to passenger consolation? As a passenger, one of many main attracts to Cathay was as a result of its giant spacious cabins – and whereas solely psychological, the impact of area was usually related to luxurious, that means Cathay may afford to be one of many extra pricey choices within the area, and one way or the other nonetheless fill its planes.
With Cathay now competing with the identical smaller metallic as low-cost carriers within the area, how is it positioning itself to proceed to win over market share? For instance, rival within the area – Singapore Airways has adopted the same mannequin to Cathay, merging its feeder visitors model Silk Air in to the primary provider. But Singapore Airways has said it’ll provide flat-beds in Enterprise Class on its 737 Max plane to keep up a premium positioning, that is one thing Cathay has determined towards.
Chief Govt Officer Augustus Tang stated: “We’re extremely excited to see our next-generation A321neo take to the skies for the first-time subsequent month as we proceed so as to add extra passenger companies within the area. The one-aisle A321neo is the most recent addition to our fleet and has been designed and fitted with an array of recent options that supply essentially the most pleasant short-haul expertise on the earth to our clients. We sit up for deploying A321neos on extra regional routes and welcoming clients on board.”
The A321neo is Cathay’s first plane to characteristic a newly designed Regional Enterprise Class seat product by Rockwell Collins and tailored by JPA Design. This next-generation hard-shell recliner seat – similar to those found on Oman Air – supplies “a cocoon-like really feel with divider screens for max privateness, whereas the 15.6-inch 4K Extremely-HD private TV screens provide an unimaginable in-flight leisure expertise.” In actuality it’s not too completely different from the regional enterprise class seats in its current cabins, however that is actually an elevated expertise.
In the meantime, the Economic system Class seats characteristic “11.6-inch 4K private TV screens together with a beneficiant recline, snug seat cushions and new adjustable headrests.” Realistically Cathay seat have at all times been snug, and the model’s comfortable touches and catering have at all times been robust PaxEx components.
In actual fact, Cathay has seemingly guess on leisure as a key differentiator within the narrow-body market. With the A321neo, Cathay Pacific is the primary airline on the earth to supply 4K ultra-high-definition screens, a 4K video-on-demand expertise (though how most of the films and reveals can be in 4K is one other subject) in addition to extra importantly Bluetooth audio streaming (which is being launched progressively) throughout all cabins.
As well as, the A321neo may have a brand new and enhanced content material choice offering one of many largest film and TV libraries obtainable on a regional single-aisle plane. And with high-speed Wi-Fi on board (additionally being launched progressively), clients ought to have the ability compensate for emails or keep in contact with family and friends.
The cabin and options are inherently ‘Cathay’, and doubtless nicely positioned for a publish pandemic world. Whereas these sleeper-style seats will not be totally flat beds, for 2-6-hour flights, they’re completely snug. In a pre-pandemic world, we would have questioned the logic behind not offering totally flat beds. But post-pandemic and commercially-speaking they’re the proper answer to convey the provider again to profitability whereas nonetheless offering a wonderfully appropriate Enterprise Class product.
Cathay Pacific’s Airbus A321neo plane will enter into business service on 4 August 2021 when it takes its inaugural flight from Hong Kong to Shanghai (Pudong). The airline intends to deploy the plane on flights to Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Qingdao, Kaohsiung and Taipei throughout August.