By Andy Sambidge
Cathay Pacific chief says new product will be launched on flights to Middle East in Q2 2012
Cathay Pacific said on Tuesday it plans to introduce a premium economy product on flights to the Middle East in the second quarter of next year.
Chief executive John Slosar confirmed the launch of the new product and promised passengers that it would be “a real upgrade over economy”.
Slosar said in a statement the new product would be introduced on all of Cathay Pacific's long-haul routes, the ultra long-hauls to Europe and North America, and the medium haul down to Australia, in the Middle East and other destinations.
He added: “The seat will be more like a regional business class seat. We’ll have great recline and plenty of leg space," he said.
"But it’s not just the seat, we’ll have an improved service as well. The meal service will be improved and little extras will leave anyone who chooses Cathay Pacific’s premium economy feeling they really got value for their money. That’s the most important part, I think.”
Slosar said the airline was now convinced that premium economy was becoming a standard product everywhere.
"And certainly, as a standard product, Cathay Pacific will want to offer it and we’ll want to do a really good job of it. Starting second quarter next year we will offer a premium economy product in our aircraft.”
Cathay Pacific said in June that expects double digit growth in passenger traffic from the Middle East this year after launching a direct route between Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong.
Asia's No.4 carrier by market value expects passenger traffic to jump by 10 percent globally as it recovers from falling air travel after the financial crisis, chief operating officer Ivan Chu said.
The Abu Dhabi route marks Cathay’s fifth in the Gulf, following services to Dubai, Bahrain, Jeddah and Riyadh.