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Cathay Pacific will launch a new business class for its Boeing 777 flagship jets in the second quarter of 2024, and it looks like a suite with the lot.
Our first glimpse of what Cathay calls its Aria business class suite shows the now-mandatory sliding door, as seen in this enhanced screenshot from a short promotional video released by the airline.
That’s paired with extended ‘wings’ for a degree of privacy even when that door is open, as many travellers prefer when they're not sleeping or working in ‘do not disturb’ mode.
One of what we’re sure will be several high-tech touches is wireless device charging, and you can bet that the large video screens facing each business class passenger will not only run at 4K but come with Bluetooth audio streaming to a passenger's own headphones or earbuds.
Evoking what Cathay describes as ‘quiet luxury’, the new Boeing 777 business class suite shows an elegant face of gentle curves and woodgrain-like surfaces, including a a spacious drawer under the wide shelf.
Cathay says its new Boeing 777-300ER business class seats will debut in the second quarter of 2024.
Executive Traveller suspects this is the same business class suite Cathay intended for its long-delayed Boeing 777X jets, for which the Oneworld airline holds 21 orders of the 777-9 model – which Boeing itself has pushed back to 2024, while Cathay in October 2020 announced “the delivery of the 777-9 fleet has been postponed beyond 2025”.
Furthermore, we believe it’s been shaped by London’s JPA Design, given a page on JPA’s website lists one of the company’s current and “Confidential” projects as “Cathay Pacific – Future aircraft cabins.”
Under the heading of “Creating the future of Cathay Pacific’s inflight experience” the page confirms “We have partnered with Cathay Pacific to design and develop their next generation of aircraft cabin interiors.”
JPA’s relationship with Cathay Pacific stretches back to the carrier’s 2011 Boeing 777 and Airbus A330 business class, which in turn was based on the benchmark Cirrus platform pioneered by JPA.
The highly-regarded firm was also behind Cathay’s latest Airbus A321neo business class, and its airline portfolio also includes Japan Airlines’ Boeing 777 first class and business class, although its most high-profile airline work would be for steadfast customer Singapore Airlines.
This spanned from Singapore Airlines’ Boeing 747 first class to the Boeing 777 first class and business class upgrades of 2013 and both the 2007 and 2017 iterations of SQ’s Airbus A380 superjumbo business class.
In short, JPA has plenty of cred when it comes to premium cabins.
And with Cathay citing Aria’s debut in its “redesigned Boeing 777-300ER cabins” we can’t help but wonder if an all-new Boeing 777 first class suite is set to follow...