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27. July 2021
by Varun Sharma
Nearly forty years since it last flew narrowbody passenger jets – next week sees Cathay Pacific launch its new fleet of Airbus A321neos on short-haul routes from its base in Hong Kong to destinations including Shanghai, Nanjing, and Taipei.
The much-anticipated inaugural flight between Hong Kong and Shanghai Pudong will take place on August 4th. Of the 202 seats, twelve will sit in the Business Class cabin – and will be fitted with its new “Regional Business Class” recliner seat - spread across three rows in a 2-2 configuration.
Business Class passengers will be treated to hard-shell recliner that offers a “cocoon-like feel with divider screens for maximum privacy.” They will also receive Business Class service including an enhanced meal service, Bluetooth audio streaming, power outlets, and access to high speed Wi-Fi. Each seat boasts a 15.6-inch 4K screen.
“We’re incredibly excited to see our next-generation A321neo take to the skies for the first time next month as we continue to add more passenger services in the region,” Chief Executive Officer Augustus Tang said. “The single-aisle A321neo is the newest addition to our fleet and has been designed and fitted with an array of new features that offer the most enjoyable short-haul experience in the world to our customers. We look forward to deploying A321neos on more regional routes and welcoming customers on board.”
Cathay was due to start flying A321s in 2020 as Cathay Dragon – its regional airline – was due to be integrated into the main brand but due to COVID, this was postponed. The airline has four A321neos with a dozen more on order.
Earlier this year we reported that Singapore Airlines will start flying a new Business Class service in its narrowbody aircraft – also as a result of the integration of its Silk Air regional product into the main brand. However, Singapore Airlines is planning to introduce a flat-bed seat – a step up from Cathay’s recliner offering.