Cathay Pacific’s new A321neo isn’t set to take to the sky until early next year. However, today, a photo leaked online of the new interior. The sneak peek into the new business class suite has divided people’s opinions, and it’s certainly different from the airline’s other business class suites.
Cathay Pacific’s A321neo
Cathay Pacific generally doesn’t operate narrowbody aircraft. However, with the global downturn, the airline will merge its regional subsidiary Cathay Dragon into the main brand. As a result, Cathay Dragon’s order of six A321neos will now join Cathay Pacific.
The new A321neo will be the first narrowbody in Cathay Pacific’s fleet since the 1980s. Although the new jets haven’t been officially launched, a photo of the new business class seats found their way onto Twitter today and have caused quite a stir.
Stay informed: Sign up for our daily aviation news digest.
The new look
One of the most obvious differences is the color scheme. The new A321neo has a softer color scheme with light greys and creams, although the lighting makes it difficult to tell the exact colors. The older Cathay Pacific regional business class features the green of the tail livery.
Note: not my photo pic.twitter.com/HdKDC0VJwB
— G-DLEE AVIATION 2020 (@JournoDannyAero) December 10, 2020
The seats themselves are the Collins Aerospace Air Rest shell design, which can also be found on Oman Air’s Boeing 737 MAX. These seats will offer more privacy than Cathay Pacific’s previous design, thanks to the dividing screen. Each seat can be adjusted to lie back without impinging on the space of the passenger behind. A footrest is also adjustable to create a z-shape seat for comfort. As these seats are being used on regional jets, they do not lie flat.
With no extra space needed for fully lie-flat seats, Cathay can fit in more of them. The new A321neo has 12 business class seats in three rows in a 2-2 configuration. The color and the style are definitely a departure from Cathay Pacific’s previous branding.
Launching the A321neo
The photo online is clearly straight from the factory floor. The interior is so new, the aisle is still coated with a plastic sheet. Cathay Pacific has yet to release any further details or images of the new interiors, so we’ll have to wait for more information. The airline has not responded to a request for comment on either the photo online or more information about the A321neo. Images of the plane in new Cathay Pacific livery also surfaced online recently.
🇭🇰 Cathay Pacific reçoit son premier mono-couloir.
Avec la disparition de Cathay Dragon, voici le premier Airbus A321neo (B-HPB) aux couleurs de Cathay Pacific.
photos de Xiang Fei pic.twitter.com/xrMYPcdrNL
— air plus news (@airplusnews) December 10, 2020
So far, all we know about when the new A321neo will start flying is what Cathay Pacific COO Greg Hughes said way back in August, quoted on Executive Traveller,
“The entry into service and the routes onto which those aircraft will be deployed really depends on the recovery, and how that develops over the coming months, so we don’t yet have a firm plan on that.”
Originally, it was rumored the launch would be this year but it seems to be delayed.
The first jets were delivered to Cathay Dragon in August in Cathay Dragon livery and so had to be repainted. The new livery and new business class seats suggest we could be seeing the first Cathay Pacific narrowbody in over 30 years take off any day now. Something to keep your eyes open for in the coming weeks.
What do you think of the new business class? When do you think Cathay Pacific will launch the new jets? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.