RUMOUR: Is This Cathay Pacific’s New A350 Interior?

Update: The rumoured seats have been confirmed, and in fact, I’ve flown the A350 from Taipei to Hong Kong in business class, which I’ve reviewed.

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Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Business Class Cabin


While I’ve flown Cathay Pacific in basically every longhaul product they offer (actually, every product they offer, with the exception of Dragonair’s A320), I’ve been itching all the past month to know what Cathay Pacific will offer on their new A350s.

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Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Business Class

Cathay Pacific has long been promising to impress. Via their London Gatwick press release:

Cathay Pacific will operate the Gatwick service with its brand new Airbus A350-900 aircraft featuring a refreshed Business Class cabin as well as new Premium Economy Class and Economy Class seats. Together with the premium service provided by Cathay Pacific’s cabin crew and a state-of-the-art inflight entertainment system in all classes, passengers will be assured of the best inflight experience when they travel between Hong Kong and London.

Well, rumour is that the new Airbus A350 seats have been leaked. I’ve gone to the site at Carnoc and have nipped out a few pictures. Now obviously, these seats could just as well be a preliminary as anything else, but both Jason and I think that these seats are going to be the actual ones flying.

Cathay Pacific’s A350 Business Class

These were the issues with the current business class seat:

  • Padding was inadequate
  • The seat could have been just a bit more private
  • There could’ve been some kind of better bedding and the window view was somewhat obstructed

I’d rate it my favourite business class hard product so far, but it definitely is subject to a bit of improvement.

(Note: Courtesy of carnoc.com, I’ll keep all watermarks.)

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Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Business Class

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Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Business Class

The new business class looks as follows:

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Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Business Class

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Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Business Class

Looking at the seat, it definitely looks a bit more industrialised, and the colours are somewhat duller (though it definitely could just be a picturing consequence). What do I see that would benefit/limit customer comfort?

  • It looks like there’s extra hip space by both sides, which could help.
  • The bottom is now angled, presumably to fit into the ottoman

What did not work with the seat?

  • The seat controls still look clunky
  • It looks like they haven’t changed the padding much, which was a huge problem
  • The colour tones look kind of horrible

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Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Seat Controls

Overall, I was expecting more from business class, but it isn’t terrible, and may be an improvement over the old business class seat.

Cathay Pacific’s A350 Premium Economy

These were the issues with premium economy that I found:

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Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Premium Economy

The new premium economy looks as follows:

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Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Premium Economy

prem-4

Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Premium Economy

prem-3

Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Premium Economy

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Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Premium Economy

Looking at the seat actually really reminds me of the regional business class Cathay Pacific and Dragonair own, from the armrests to the tables to the actual seat base. The only difference is that the seat isn’t shelled, much like the current premium economy product.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class

What did not work?

  • The clunky, unclassy industrialised black seatbacks
  • The recess looks like it would be clunky and looks like one of those plastic toys my sister used to play
  • Leather seat pockets never work, in my opinion

Otherwise, premium economy actually has the potential of becoming the better ones flying. While I miss the double padding, everything else looks pretty good. Who knows – if the real seatbacks are glossed or further coated with matte, it would look really slick.

Cathay Pacific’s Airbus A350 Economy

These were the things about Cathay Pacific’s current economy that I liked (yeah, there are a few things to fault, but correcting those would make it more of a premium economy seat than anything else):

  • Double padding
  • The recess we could put stuff into
  • I personally really liked the seat cover patterns

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Dragonair Airbus A321 Economy Class

The new economy class looks as follows:

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Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Economy Class

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Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Economy Class

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Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Economy Class

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Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Economy Class

First of all, note that the new seats are now coated in green. That said, I far preferred the old economy seat covers, as they looked much more modern. Other than that, the recess looks clunky, and the whole seat just looks more antiquated in general. That said, it does look a tad wider – but then we’ve lost the double padding, which is a huge minus.

Bottom Line

I’m kind of in shock to see that this is all Cathay Pacific managed to come up with. With the much-anticipated interiors, I thought Cathay Pacific would try to step it further up, or modernizing the cabins. While this could be very, very preliminary and Cathay Pacific could have come up with something different, Jason and I are praying that this is not the final product.

Let’s see what Cathay Pacific has to say about this!

What do you think about Cathay Pacific’s new interiors?

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10 thoughts on “RUMOUR: Is This Cathay Pacific’s New A350 Interior?

  1. The new business class seat is clearly a mock up – the seat cushion is clearly too high and doesn’t even line up with the side padding. It looks like a very early first attempt, rather than the final seat.

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    1. In my opinion it’s probably an initial mock-up done by Cathay with the changes designed by Porsche. I’m hoping that the finishes are replaced with newer, nicer ones.

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  2. Oh yes, I’m praying also that it’s better than this, as I’m booked on it in early October from Dusseldorf to HKG. Even the Cathay green colour looks very drab. Surely, CX would take the opportunity with this seat refresh to at least try to keep pace with the new Singapore Airlines business class seat, which looks very classy.

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  3. You guys were right! Those pics were of the new CX business seats (and premium economy and economy seats also.) Fortunately, they do look a bit nicer in the final version on board the new CX A350, but only a bit. They are certainly nothing more than a minimalist upgrade, still I suppose Cathay did not promise more than that, as the ‘old’ seats were very comfortable, if not particularly luxe. Cheers Anton
    http://www.ausbt.com.au/review-cathay-pacific-airbus-a350-business-class

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  4. Comfort is much improved over what was already a comfortable product, cushions are totally different construction to 777 seats.

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