HONGKONG: Cathay Pacific Airways today unveiled its newly refreshed First Class product which features a significant enhancement to the cabin’s look and feel along with the introduction of a number of new features.
Cathay Pacific General Manager Product Toby Smith said: “Our award-winning First Class suite has been very popular with passengers since it was introduced in 2007. Given its popularity we saw no pressing need to completely replace the product. However, we decided it was appropriate to give the suites a fresh new look and make a few changes that will enhance the overall experience for our premium passengers. This underlines our commitment to excellence in providing an exceptional travel experience for our customers.
“To offer our First Class passenger a more harmonious experience throughout their journey – from ground to the air – we appointed London-based architects Foster + Partners, the same designer of the First Class Lounge of The Wing, to bring elements of the lounge’s design into the First Class cabin,” Mr Smith added.
A highly glossy dark grey textured material is featured on the outer surface of the suite, while warm-tone natural leather is used extensively on most interior surfaces for a luxurious feel and soft touch. The new side console and the interior of the suite are all wrapped in natural leather, with subtle linings, refined stitching and fewer panels for a more clean and sophisticated look. Leather pads with subtle stitching are also introduced on latches to provide a softer touch. The seat fabric is custom-made with a specially selected combination of materials that is soft and smooth to touch.
Complementing the new design and adding an element of interest to the cabin, hand-crafted sculptural artworks have been installed. These individual artworks, made of copper and steel and created by Maria Lobo and Linda Leviton, have been individually etched and painted by hand, with a harmonious colour palette.
Input from Marco Polo Club members was also incorporated to improve certain details of the product, including a more adjustable meal table, more room in the personal closet and additional space inside the console compartment for personal items such as phones and glasses. A drink holder is introduced on the new side console top to prevent cups and glasses slipping during turbulence. In the lavatory, a specially designed new wash basin and counter top have been installed that will provide a refreshing environment.
Other new and enhanced features of the rejuvenated suites include a new 4.3” LCD touch screen controller, which allows passengers to easily recline the seat, adjust lumbar support and turn lights on or off with just a simple touch. New reading lights have been tailor-made to enhance their utility, with brightness adjustable to five levels via the controller along with an independent on/off switch. The rotation of the lights is more flexible with a wider angle. These factors combine to ensure that passengers can enjoy more comfortable lighting with fewer shadows cast when reading, writing and dining in any seating position.
Passengers’ enjoyment of movies and music will be greatly enhanced by the new BOSE QuietComfort® 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headphones which feature superb comfort and sound quality. Each suite is equipped with a multi-port connector which includes an iPhone/iPod connector and a USB port. The iPhone/iPod connector allows passengers to connect their own devices and watch video through their personal television. The USB port can be used to charge devices such as mobile phones.
Understanding that sleep quality is particularly important for passengers travelling on long-haul flights, all the First Class bedding has been redesigned and improved, employing exceptionally high-quality materials with 500 thread count cotton fabrics for the duvets, pillows, cushions and bed mattress, giving a refined and soft touch. The thickness of the mattress has also been increased to enhance sleeping comfort. For the ultimate in slumber comfort, a new sleep suit, made with 100% organic cotton and designed by “PYE”, a premium home-grown brand from Hong Kong, will be offered.
While male passengers will be offered amenity kits in an Ermenegildo Zegna black pouch, female passengers will be provided with a new Trussardi amenity bag in complementary colours, featuring Aesop as the exclusive skincare and toiletries brand for the First Class cabin.
The first Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with the upgraded First Class is due to enter service on 26 July 2013 and the entire cabin refresh project is scheduled to be completed by the third quarter of 2014. The First Class cabins in Cathay Pacific’s Boeing 747-400 aircraft are not included in the upgrade project as the fleet is in the process of being retired.