Cathay Pacific has taken delivery of its first Airbus A350 aircraft, marking the start of a major new fleet renewal and expansion programme.
The new twin-aisle aircraft touched down in Hong Kong on Sunday 29 May, following a direct flight from the Airbus factory in Toulouse. It becomes the first of 48 A350s ordered by the airline.
The first new aircraft, an A350-900 model, features Cathay’s latest in-flight products in three cabins – business class, premium economy and economy.
“We understand that for our passengers, sleeping well, enjoying first-class entertainment, and using products that have been designed with them in mind are of the utmost importance. The new A350 will provide the very best of all these,” said the airline’s chief operating officer, Rupert Hogg. “The lower cabin pressure and noise levels combine with our new features to set passengers up for the best sleeping experience possible in the skies.
“This superbly efficient aircraft will help us further expand our global network and strengthen Hong Kong’s reputation as an international aviation hub, helping to oil the wheels of commerce and trade in our home city,” he added.
Passengers travelling on the A350 can look forward to a series of new offerings, including flat-bed business class seats with ‘Do Not Disturb’ and ‘Wake-up Call’ functions, and tablet holders, power outlets and USB ports in both premium economy and economy classes.
In total, the A350-900 can seat 280 passengers – 38 in business class, 28 in premium economy and 214 in economy. All seats also come equipped with the latest high-definition touchscreen TVs and a greater selection of movies, TV, music and live news channels. In-flight Wi-Fi is also available.
Cathay’s first A350-900 will enter service on 1 June with a flight to Manila. The aircraft will mainly be deployed on regional routes until more A350s arrive, when they will be rolled out on long-haul routes – including London Gatwick and Dusseldorf – from the third quarter of 2016.
Cathay’s total order of 48 A350s comprises both the A350-900 and the larger A350-1000. These aircraft will gradually replace the carrier’s older aircraft, including the A340 and Boeing 747.