UPDATE | Cathay Pacific has now revealed the first details of its new Premium Economy class as well as a replacement for the airline's much-criticised international economy seat, both of which will debut in March 2012 on flights between Hong Kong and Sydney – see our full report for details.
And while the premium economy seats will appear on CX's Boeing 747s and Airbus A340s, those planes will keep the current fixed-shell economy seat along with the cubicle-style business class bunks, as detailed below.
PREVIOUS | Cathay Pacific's impressive new business-class seats won't be installed into the Hong Kong flag-carrier's current Boeing 747-400 or Airbus A340 fleet.
The rollout of the new seats and cabin is underway on factory-fresh Airbus A330-300 and Boeing 777-300ER – due to enter service in March and April, respectively – before the airline begins an extensive refit of existing A330s and 777s.
But the 747s and A340s, which together represent one-third of Cathay's total fleet and over three-quarters of the dedicated three-class long-haul CX fleet, will retain the existing and often-criticised 'business-class 'cubicle' seating.
"The new business class seats will not be installed in either the CX 747s or the 340s" a Cathay Pacific spokesperson confirmed to Australian Business Traveller today. "The new seats are only going into the longhaul A330s and 777-300ERs."
The 747s and A340s "will be gradually phased out over some years", according to Cathay Pacific, with the 777-300ER and A330-300s taking their place.
However, Cathay Pacific is keeping mum on rumours that the new A330-300 and 777-300ER may include a premium economy section – which would be a first for the airline – along with a new design for the fixed-shell economy seats.
Cathay Pacific is one of the world's largest customers for both aircraft, with 31 A330s currently in service (plus three more on order) and 14 777-300ERs (with 18 more on order).
About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.