Cathay Pacific will let passengers choose their inflight meals before setting foot on the plane next year, while paid-for 'meal upgrades' for economy class are also on the cards.
Those are two features of a new 'Catering Planner' system being developed for Cathay Pacific and its regional arm Dragonair for debut in 2015.
CX describes Catering Planner as a 'cloud based next-generation integrated catering solution' to replace the current catering system, which is managed using Microsoft Word and Excel.
“As competition in the airline industry continues to intensify, inflight services – in particular catering – will remain key differentiators which allow us to stand out from the competition,” says Aaron Claxton, Cathay Pacific's Manager of Catering Services.
The software will also improve the accuracy of meal order numbers by delivering the latest passenger counts to caterers, which should also help ensure that more of the most popular dishes are on board.
British Airways recently revealed plans for pre-flight meal ordering, while several airlines including Qantas, MAS and Singapore Airlines already let travellers choose their meal in advance.
Cathay Pacific has also confirmed that The Pier First Class lounge at Hong Kong will re-open in June 2015, and will be themed around the concept of a "luxury apartment".
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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.