Cathay Pacific unveils new Business Class seats and staff uniforms!

This evening, at an event in Hong Kong that was attended by more than 3000 people, Cathay Pacific launched its next-generation Business Class seats as well as freshly designed staff uniforms. Web forums had been abuzz with speculations about the exact details of this event for quite some time now. And this evening Cathay went the whole hog by unveiling as many as four product innovations. However, the centre of attraction, quite obviously, were the new business class seats which, according to Cathay, have been designed after taking into account the requests and suggestions of passengers and are now even more comfortable and spacious than ever.

The new Business Class seats

Being one of the first to get an actual demo of the seats, I am eagerly looking forward to trying these on the actual flight itself. At first glance, they seem to offer the same amount of space, but there are some hidden surprises. Once you get into the seats you realize that they do provide more comfort simply because of the additional few inches in the new design.  We have the some of the first really up-close pics of the new seats. Check them out in the gallery!

Some of the best features of the new seat are the additional storage space (which we can never get enough of!), a side cabinet and shoe locker that can be used to store valuables and of course, the extra spacious seat and bed. The bed, as claimed by Cathay Pacific can be “used to sleep in any position”. Jokes apart, it did look quite good while on the ground. Electrical docks of most sorts are available to keep the gadget geeks happily charged (pun intended). The larger workspace of course means that most of us will probably not have too many excuses for procrastinating on our work! New bedding and service-ware too for those who care about them.

[photomosaic]

 

Business Class artwork

As an add-on delight, the Business Class cabin will have unique artwork created by artist Maria Lobo. Some of the designs can be seen in the photographs below. Do have a look and tell us what you think of them. A couple designs are quite striking and do seem to have the potential to transform the normally toned-down look of the cabin into something rather vibrant and appealing. What do you think?

New Staff uniforms

The staff uniforms have also undergone a refresh. Well-known Hong Kong designer Eddie Lau was roped in to design the new-look uniforms. Colours and designs have both undergone a makeover. As a “face” for the brand, uniforms are indeed important, but most of the people I talked to seemed to be impressed and underwhelmed in equal measure by the new designs. However, it will be interesting to see whether Cathay can implement the roll-out of these new uniforms in conjunction with the roll-out of the new seats such that the brand image itself is renewed positively. From a standalone viewpoint, the new uniforms would normally not affect the brand image much; however, this might just be the perfect opportunity for Cathay to prove visibly its commitment to continuous service and product innovation. In other words, show its passengers that it’s constantly evolving to suit the expectations and needs of the modern traveller. These uniforms are expected to be implemented from early next year.

Lounge refresh

Cathay’s flagship lounge, The Wing is being renovated and upgraded as well. The revamped lounge will have more seats, updated furnishing some of which are custom-made for Cathay Pacific, a new “Coffee Loft” concept and a new Champagne Bar for First Class passengers. It will go into operation in stages from early next year and it’s another well-timed branding initiative as long as it’s tied to all the others.

Ultimately, the whole package does seem to pack quite a punch and enhances Cathay’s brand personality.

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Shubhodeep Pal

Shubhodeep Pal

Vice President, Products and Operations at SimpliFlying
Shubhodeep Pal is the Vice President, Products and Operations at SimpliFlying. He has been leading Research, Product Development, Marketing and Business Development since December 2010 from the headquarters in Singapore.He has spoken at airline conferences and delivered training workshops for senior aviation executives. He has also appeared on television interviews and been quoted in publications such as the Wall Street Journal. His writings have appeared extensively on SimpliFlying and respected industry outlets such as Airlinetrends, Tnooz, Airport World, Low Cost and Regional Airline Business Magazine and Loyalty360. In a previous role, he also conducted a workshop on social media at the Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore.He speaks three languages fluently, and is also a published poet and amateur film critic.He can be reached at shubhodeep@simpliflying.com.
Shubhodeep Pal
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