In May, Cathay Pacific adopted a bold new tagline – Move Beyond. It represents both a call to action and a mindset inspired by the pioneering spirit that has propelled the airline forwards over seven decades, reaching new destinations and pushing the boundaries of technology. Two ingredients – continuously improving service and anticipating passengers’ needs – are an essential part of helping to connect passengers to meaningful places, people and experiences. And that’s where we set our minds in 2019.
On the ground, one of Cathay Pacific’s most significant achievements was the renovation of the lounge at Shanghai Pudong, making it big enough to hold up to 300 guests, yet providing nooks and private spaces with custom-built side tables and charging sockets so they can settle and relax. Award-winning London-based design firm Studioilse introduced soft acoustics and natural materials like cherry wood, limestone tiling, bronze and brass to impart a natural and contemporary ambience.
A new noodle bar and DIY cocktail area round out the world-class space where frequent flyers can relax in total comfort prior to departure. New additions also boosted The Pier Business Class lounge at the airline’s home base of Hong Kong International Airport. The Sanctuary is the airport’s first dedicated yoga and meditation space, a haven of peace and tranquillity. Passengers can practise yoga at their own pace or be guided by a video featuring an instructor from Pure Yoga, while aids to meditation include iPads, comfortable cushioned pods and noise-cancelling headphones.
Out of the lounge and ready for take-off, passengers were presented with two new routes in 2019. The launch of a non-stop service to Seattle in the US marked a significant expansion in Cathay Pacific’s long-haul service, fostering the strong business, trade and cultural links between the two cities. Closer to home, Cathay Dragon’s new seasonal route to Niigata in Japan put the gastronomic wonders and amazing landscapes of the prefecture in easy range of Hong Kong.
Onboard, Cathay Pacific’s inflight entertainment has quadrupled in size over the past year: a mammoth increase that includes the latest blockbusters, indie films, exclusive movies and an expanded selection of cinema from Japan, South Korea and China. By way of celebrating Hong Kong’s rich media history, both the TV and movie sections from our home city have been enlarged significantly. Many films are shown exclusively on Cathay Pacific before other airlines – and sometimes even before they reach cinemas. In addition, the airline’s partnership with live sport channel Sport 24 – available on all Cathay Pacific A350 aircraft – allows sports fans to stay up-to-date with their favourite teams in real time at 35,000 feet.
There have also been important improvements to Cathay Pacific’s inflight dining and comfort. In Economy Class, mealtimes have been given a boost thanks to a collaboration with Black Sheep Restaurants, one of Hong Kong’s most dynamic hospitality groups. Black Sheep’s chefs created a series of new dishes exclusively for Cathay Pacific, drawing inspiration from their restaurants to include South Asian, Middle Eastern and Italian flavours. The new meals debuted on long-haul routes and are planned to be rolled out on some regional flights this year. To complement inflight dining, Cathay Pacific relaunched its signature Betsy beer, known as ‘the ale for altitude’. Betsy – named after Cathay Pacific’s first aircraft, a Douglas DC-3 – is a smooth, distinctive pale ale with malty notes of biscuit and toffee, and is served throughout all cabins on long-haul routes, as well as in Cathay Pacific’s four lounges at Hong Kong International Airport.
At the front of the aircraft, another partnership – with luxury British lifestyle brand Bamford – has rewarded passengers with an even greater degree of comfort. In First Class, the new 600-thread-count Bamford bedding collection features soft duvets and a full-sized pillow with a cotton pillowcase, while the amenity kit contains all-natural skincare products packaged in eco-conscious glass bottles. Meanwhile, Business Class passengers are similarly well looked-after, with Bamford’s mattresses, 400-thread-count duvets and pillowcases, slippers, and organic skincare products such as lotion, lip balm and face mist.
Looking to the future, and in particular this coming year, Cathay Pacific has lined up a great deal to look forward to. Plans are in hand to revamp Cathay Pacific’s website, with the immediate aim of making bookings even easier and more efficient.
As part of a commitment to a modern and fuel-efficient fleet, Cathay Pacific has placed 65 orders for new aircraft. This includes 21 state-of-the-art Boeing 777-9, 12 ultra-modern Airbus A350 and 32 brand new A321neo aircraft. Following a comprehensive fleet review, Cathay Dragon will operate the first 16 of these narrow-body A321neo – which stands for ‘new engine option’ – craft, with the first delivery arriving very soon. The A321neo is up to 20 per cent more fuel-efficient than similar aircrafts, and as such has become one of the fastest-selling commercial planes ever made.
Finally, Cathay Pacific’s partnership with Black Sheep Restaurants will be further enhanced as the group’s chefs work with Cathay Pacific Catering Services and the Catering Centre of Excellence to develop more enticing menus. Stick with us and you’ll be eating well, flying well and immensely well-cared for in 2020.