Cathay Pacific plans to fly the A350 from Hong Kong to Auckland later next year.
Source: Manuel Belleli
The airline has finalized the interior configuration for the Airbus A350 XWB and an executive said the new planes were on course to fly to this country with a much bigger business-class cabin than aircraft now used on the route.
Cathay's general manager product Toby Smith said the airline was expecting the first of the new planes next February.
Typically they would spend a few months flying shorter routes in the region to familiarise crew with it then on to longer-haul deployment.
"That is subject to change for any number of reasons but I think it's fair to say with the A340 currently on the New Zealand route being gradually phased out it's very likely that it will be deployed pretty quickly on the Auckland route," he said.
Smith said Cathay next year was expecting delivery of 12 of A350 (out of 22 A350-900 ordered and additional 26 A350-1000).
Source: Victor Pody
The A350 would have 38 business-class seats compared to 26 in the A340, 28 premium-economy seats (no change) and 214 in economy (3 more).
"The big increase is in the business-class cabin. We have a lot of confidence in the premium market."
The aircraft is wifi capable and Smith said the airline would run trials to ensure systems are robust.
"We want to make sure it is similar to what they get at the office or at home. We'll be conducting trials before rolling it out."
Based on the article “Cathay Pacific eyeing premium market” published in The New Zealand Herald.