Source: Lee Halford
The New Business Class seat design customized by Porsche will incorporate a dimmable reading light.
The Panasonic eX3 inflight entertainment system (IFE) will have full-swipe capability similar to that seen on Qatar Airways’ and Finnair’s A350s.
Taking into consideration its tremendously successful Australian operation –at around 88% and 98% load factor during the Golden Week- the meaningful question is if Cathay needs more A350-900 than existing 22 units on order.
The A350 is uniquely suitable for replacing the 13 251-seat reconfigured A330-300s, with a 12.04% bigger Economy cabin.
Source: Travelling For Miles
This means that route groups are already clamouring for the 22 A350-900s, with the inaugural long-haul A350 service to Auckland in May/2016 taking up 2 aircraft, following regional familiarisation to Manila, Taipei, Singapore, Osaka Kansai, Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City.
Assuming 6 of the 13 long-haul A330-300s are replaced, this will already have taken up 8 A350-900s inclusive of the daily Auckland service, leaving 14 aircraft destined for the rationalisation of European network which currently takes precedence, or 7 destinations in both directions.
Further factoring in launches of new destinations such as Copenhagen and Seattle, as well as extra frequency opportunities such as making Düsseldorf or Manchester more than 4 times weekly with the smaller A350, it is very easy to see why the A350-900 is in high demand within Cathay.
A potential workaround is to deploy the displaced 3-class 777-300ERs from Europe onto the Sydney and Melbourne routes, albeit the oneworld carrier is already studying the deployment of A350-900s to Australia in late-2016.
Based on the article “Cathay Pacific´s new livery signifies fresh direction” published in Aspire Aviation.