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Cathay Pacific A330-300 and B777-300ER Business Class Suite

Client: Cathay Pacific

Project: Fully Lie-flat Business Class Suite

Launch: March 2011


Following a competitive tender, Cathay Pacific selected JPA to work in collaboration on the design of their new Business Class product. Cathay Pacific had a clear vision from the outset to develop a state of the art, industry leading product and selected JPA’s reverse-herringbone design.

Cathay Pacific’s unique product features 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. A novel design feature called the Bed Extension deploys automatically as the seat transforms into a bed, increasing the bed width and the Retractable Armrest can be lowered.

The instant a passenger steps into their private area, they notice the generous stowage space available for example the Side Storage is sufficient for handbags or laptop cases and complete with an easy-to-reach water bottle holder. A Side Cabinet and Shoe Locker provide secure storage for small valuables and shoes. A Vanity Mirror is concealed under a flap inside the Side Cabinet door. During the flight the Side Cabinet can be fixed in the open position to double as a privacy screen.

JPA also developed the colour and trim design and it includes abstract patterns, the use of premium materials such as richly woven fabrics, the finest leather and a custom-designed Tedlar. Soft, padded Nomex has been added to the inside of the shell around the footwell and headboard and this attention to detail helps with both comfort and soundproofing. JPA also designed a new range of duvets, blankets, pillows and cushions for the new cabin. These were all designed to maximise passenger comfort and complement the overall feel of the surroundings.

Alex McGowan, Cathay Pacific’s Head of Product, said:

“We set JPA a challenging brief – to design a business cabin consistent with our vision to be the world’s best airline and our mission to provide outstanding products and services.  What impressed us most was how they were able to create big ideas, obsess about the smallest detail and then deliver both to our timescales.  Throughout the development process JPA was an integral part of our team.”