Not since Cathay Pacific landed their iconic Boeing 747 Jumbo at Vancouver International Airport 35 years ago has there been a buzz like there was yesterday, when the Hong Kong carrier showed off their latest offering to Canada, the highly anticipated Airbus A350-900.
Packing the latest in commercial aviation technology, the newest Airbus model is poised to bring Cathay Pacific back into profit after its first annual loss in almost 10 years last year. Much like Boeing’s B787 Dreamliner, efficiency is key. Comprised of lightweight composite materials and brand new Rolls-Royce Trent XWB (Extra Wide Body) engines, the A350 burns less fuel (up to 25% less) cutting CO2 emissions in the process.
And it’s pretty cool looking too. Its curved winglets not only dazzle but enable a further flight by improving fuel efficiency through aerodynamics. The new six-panel cockpit windows, as opposed to the typical four, not only offer a better peripheral for the crew but the wrap-around bold design gives the plane the appearance of wearing goggles.
But Cathay saved the best for the inside. Onboard, expect a three-class configuration with 38 business class seats, 28 premium economy seats and 214 seats in economy. Even though the planes are designed to fly higher than most commercial aircraft, inside you will feel like you’re even lower, with cabin pressure set at 6,000 feet instead of the usual 8,000. It is also the quietest aircraft in the sky today.
Throughout the plane, passengers will notice more space and serenity, with larger panoramic windows, roomier overhead baggage compartments and LED mood lighting simulating sunrise and sunset to help reduce jet lag.
The biggest difference though will be felt up front. Those travelling in business class will have more space than ever, starting with Studio F.A. Porsche seats. At 45-inches, the seat pitch is heavenly. Add a 20.2-inch seat width and a 75-inch lie-flat bed and it might be hard to leave the cabin. There’s even ‘Do Not Disturb’ and ‘Wake-Up Call’ features to ensure privacy.
The in-flight entertainment system is new too, with 18.5-inch HD screens offering on-demand films and music, as well as an e-reader jammed with digital magazines using touchscreen technology. Free satellite TV with BBC World News, CNN and Euronews is also on tap and Wi-Fi is available in every cabin at a nominal charge.
As part of the Oneworld Alliance, guests can accrue Asia Miles on all Cathay Pacific flights redeemable with any Oneworld Alliance airline partner.
Service aboard Cathay Pacific’s new A350-900 has begun! It is the first A350 to fly the Vancouver to Hong Kong route, operating three times weekly. We'd love to help you if you with your travel if you do business in Asia or the Pacific.