|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||7 December 2010|
Cathay Pacific Airways today unveiled its latest innovations in product and service at a glittering event in Hong Kong attended by more than 3,000 people.
The airline revealed, for the first time in public, its new Business Class seat, which will help to redefine the travel experience for premium passengers beginning March 2011, and showcased the new uniform for cabin crew and other customer-facing staff - created by Hong Kong designer Eddie Lau - that will be introduced in the second half of next year. Also put on show were the latest innovations in the airline's Hong Kong passenger lounges.
The event, dubbed "Light Up the Sky", was held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre with Henry Tang, Chief Secretary for Administration of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, as Guest of Honour. Mr Tang officiated at the opening ceremony together with Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Tony Tyler and Chief Operating Officer John Slosar.
Speaking at the unveiling event, Chief Executive Tony Tyler said: "Tonight we are pleased to unveil product innovations that will not just do Cathay Pacific proud, but Hong Kong proud. Our new flat-bed Business Class seat was developed after listening to what our customers had to say and it will, I believe, underline our commitment to excellence in innovation. We are also pleased to unveil the new uniforms for our frontline staff, created by our brilliant Hong Kong home-grown designer, Eddie Lau, and some of our exciting lounge developments at Hong Kong International Airport.
What we are unveiling tonight is quite a package that has been put together for the most important people in our business - our passengers. These latest product and service enhancements form part of Cathay Pacific's ongoing investments in the continued development of Hong Kong as one of the world's leading international aviation hubs."
Chief Secretary for Administration Henry Tang said: "Aviation is a fast-moving industry in every sense. Cathay Pacific's constant development of its products and services has helped to enhance the airline's competitiveness for more than six decades. The new products and services being unveiled today will help to keep the airline ahead of the competition. Cathay Pacific has been a close partner with the Government in strengthening our city's status as a regional and international aviation centre, and we are proud to have Cathay Pacific as Hong Kong's flag carrier."
The highlight of the evening was the unveiling of Cathay Pacific's new Business Class seat - a passenger-led design that aims to refine comfort, versatility and function. Every aspect of the new product has been thoughtfully designed around the passenger's needs, providing a space in which to sleep, dine, work, read, watch TV or simply relax.
The new seat offers both privacy and openness, with a wing-back chair that cocoons passengers in their own private area and has been carefully designed to maximise living space. The seats, which are angled to give passengers a perfect view through the windows and are ideal for those travelling with a companion, provide everything passengers need to control either their widescreen inflight entertainment system or the infinitely adjustable seat. The seat quickly converts into a bed that is one of the longest and widest provided on any commercial airline.
Inside the cabin, the new Business Class will feature artwork - all original designs - by Hong Kong artist Maria Lobo. Guests at the gala party were given a preview of Ms Lobo's creative designs.
The first aircraft to feature the new Business Class product will be an Airbus A330-300, which is planned to enter service on some of the flights on the Sydney route in March. The new seats will be rolled out rapidly, being installed on all Cathay Pacific's new long-haul A330-300 and Boeing 777-300ER deliveries and progressively being retrofitted on existing aircraft. By February 2013, all 30 Boeing 777-300ER and 20 long-haul A330-300s in the fleet are expected to have the new product.
Guests at the "Light Up the Sky" event were also treated to a fashion show featuring the new Cathay Pacific uniform, which will be worn by all cabin crew, airport staff and other customer-facing employees of the airline from the third quarter of next year. The new uniform, once again created by renowned Hong Kong designer Eddie Lau, continues the tradition of creating a stylish, elegant and unique look that's symbolic of a modern Asian Airline respected worldwide for quality, style and gracious service.
The new uniform is an evolution of the existing uniform and among the signature features being retained are red as the principal colour, the brush-wing logo, standing collars and cuffs, and the long skirts for senior frontline staff. New fabrics with a mechanical stretch are being employed on a number of uniform items to provide more comfort and ease of movement while still meeting stringent occupational health and safety requirements.
The final element of the gala event was a special section set up to showcase Cathay Pacific's latest lounge developments, which include the recent opening of The Cabin, the Group's newest departure lounge at Hong Kong International Airport, and the comprehensive renovations of its signature lounge, The Wing, which are now underway. The airline set up an exhibition at "Light Up the Sky" which included scale models as well as lounge features such as the unique Cathay Solus Chair and the new Health Bar.
The latest product and service enhancements form part of Cathay Pacific's ongoing investments in the continued development of Hong Kong as one of the world's leading international aviation hubs. The airline currently has a total of 65 new aircraft on order, with a book value of HK$115 billion, for delivery up to 2019. Cathay Pacific is also investing HK$5.5 billion in its own state-of-the-art cargo terminal at Hong Kong International Airport that will open in early 2013.
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