Cathay Pacific's New Premium Economy

First Cathay 777-300ER with Premium Economy

The long awaited Premium Economy seats have arrived at Hong Kong based Cathay Pacific Airlines.  The airline is known for its service and is frequently rated as one of the best.

Cathay Pacific has just taken delivery of the first Boeing 777-300ER to sport the new Premium Economy seats.  The delivery of this particular aircraft marks a milestone for both Boeing and Cathay Pacific as the aircraft is the 25th 777-300ER to be delivered to the airline; the plane touched down at Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) yesterday, February 26.  Just as this new aircraft arrived at HKIA, Cathay Pacific received its fifth Boeing 747-8F (Freighter).

A delivery ceremony was held at Boeing in Seattle where Cathay Pacific Chief Operating Officer Ivan Chu said, “This is an important development for Cathay Pacific – another big step in our commitment to provide outstanding products and services to our passengers. We’re confident that both these new products will be winners, especially when combined with the famous Cathay Pacific service.”

Cathay Pacific Premium Economy


The product is finally here and the new seat is not only more spacious, but sets a high bar when it comes to the new in-flight entertainment system.  For Cathay Pacific, the passenger experience is important, even more so in premium classes.

For starters, the Premium Economy is in a separate cabin, reducing noise levels, but most importantly, it’s more spacious with a seat pitch of 38 inches; the seat is also wider, provides additional recline, and a foot rest.  The in-flight entertainment system offers passengers a 10.6 inch personal TV along with an in-seat power outlet, multi-port connector for personal devices, as well as additional storage space.

As previously outlined, additional benefits include dedicated check-in and additional baggage allowance.

What routes will have Premium Economy?


Starting April 1, 2012, Premium Economy seats can be booked on selected flights to:

  • Sydney (SYD) – CX101 / CX100
  • Toronto (YYZ) – CX826 / CX825 – CX828 / CX829
  • Vancouver (YVR) – CX888 / CX889
  • New York (JFK) – CX830 / CX831 – CX840 / CX841 – CX888 / CX889


The quicker planes are re-fitted, the quicker you’ll start seeing Premium Economy on more routes.

Cathay Pacific Premium Economy Seats (Photo Credit: Cathay Pacific)
Picture Cathay Pacific Premium Economy Seats (Photo Credit and Photo Copyright: Cathay Pacific)


In May, Premium Economy will be available on select flights on the London-Heathrow (LHR) route via CX252 / CX 255.

Once Sydney, Toronto, Vancouver, and New York are operating with Premium Economy Cabins, Cathay Pacific will start to bring Adelaide (ADL), Los Angeles (LAX), Melbourne (MEL), and San Francisco (SFO) online in August.   During the month of September, Frankfurt (FRA) will obtain the new Premium Economy cabin – hopefully in time for Octoberfest — while Brisbane (BNE) and Mumbai (BOM) will follow in October.

By the end of 2012, Cathay Pacific plans on having 48 aircraft with Premium Economy cabins; at the end of 2013, that number is expected to nearly double with 87 aircraft in the long-haul fleet being re-fitted.

Cathay Pacific New Long-Haul Economy


New, long-haul economy class seats will be deployed as well, with a “cradle mechanism” to provide additional comfort in recline.  The seats will also feature high-res personal TV.   The new economy seats will be fitted on all Cathay Pacific long-haul 777-300ER’s and Airbus A330-300’s.  The first will return to the fleet in March flying to Sydney and Toronto initially.

The carrier plans to have 36 Boeing 777-300ER and 26 Airbus A330-300s refitted with the economy seats by December 2013.

Breakdown of New Products:


Premium Economy Class

New Long-haul Economy

Current Long-haul Economy

Aircraft type Boeing 777-300ERBoeing 747-400Airbus A330-300Airbus A340-000 Boeing 777-300ERAirbus A330-300 Boeing 777-300ERBoeing 747-400Airbus A330-300Airbus A340-000
Configuration Airbus: 2-3-2Boeing: 2-4-2 Airbus: 2-4-2Boeing: 3-3-3 Airbus: 2-4-2Boeing: 3-3-3
Cabin environment A separate cabin with 26-34 seats A bigger cabin compared to current long-haul Economy
Seat pitch




Seat width




  A wider seat with centre console on one side and a wider armrest on the other to provide enhanced comfort




  Larger range of recline distance to ensure passengers can relax in both sleeping and sitting upright position
Meal table Large in-arm meal table provides a good experience for both work and eating Back-mounted
meal table
Back-mounted meal table
Cocktail table Cocktail table on centre console with swing-out tray can be used to enjoy the welcome cocktail and drink service besides the main meal Nil Nil
Leg-rest and footrest Leg-rest and footrest available for front row seat and aft-mounted footrest available for standard row.The aft-mounted footrest has three ratchet positions to cater for all heights to stretch their legs comfortably. Nil Nil
PTV monitor size 10.6” widescreen TV to provide a better viewing experience. 9” touch screen monitor 6”-9”
In-seat power outlet One in-seat universal power supply outlet for each passenger One in-seat outlet for each passenger One in-seat outlet for each passenger
Multi-port Connector (with iPhone/iPod and USB outlets) Including an iPhone/iPod connector and a USB port, which allows passengers to connect their own devices and watch video through the Personal TV.The USB port can be used to charge devices such as mobile phones and BlackBerrys Same as Premium Economy Class Nil
Extra personal storage space Seat back mounted amenity stowage space for passengers to stow small amenities such as mobile phone, glasses and accessories. Extra space for passenger to stow personal amenities such as mobile phone, glasses etc.Cup holder mounted on the table is stable and robust to ensure no liquid spillage. Back mounted cup holder
Living space Living space is enhanced by minimizing the size of functional equipments’ seat boxes Living space is enhanced by reducing the size of boxes for inflight entertainment and other functional equipment


During the rollout of the new Premium Economy cabins the possibility exists of being switched to an aircraft without the new product if the aircraft planned for the flight encounters mechanical problems. This will be less of an issue as additional aircraft are retrofitted with the new cabins.

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