Routesonline: Cathay Pacific to Deploy Reconfigured 777s to Manila

Routesonline suggests that Cathay Pacific passengers in Manila may notice a difference on some of its aircrafts soon.

Copyright photo: Angelo Agcamaran/PPSG

Between June 1 and 30, Cathay Pacific will deploy Boeing 777-300 and 777-300ER aircrafts with a 3-4-3 seating arrangement, also known as 10-abreast seating, on some of its flights to Manila.  It currently uses a 3-3-3 or 9-abreast seating arrangement on its 777s.  

It is not yet clear what specific flights to/from Manila will use the 10-abreast 777s.  However, Cathay Pacific is used to varying the equipment it operates for shorter flights such as those to Manila.

In addition, regional destinations such as Bangkok, Osaka, Singapore, Taipei, and Tokyo will also see the reconfigured aircraft.  The 10-abreast 777s will also be used for long-haul destinations.  For instance, starting on June 19, some of Cathay Pacific's flights between Hong Kong and London Heathrow get to use them, followed by flights between Hong Kong and Rome on July 1.  Flights between Hong Kong and Johannesburg will follow suit on October 1.  

In an interview with Australian Business Traveller back in 2017, Cathay Pacific's General of Products James Evans tried to downplay concerns about the 10-abreast seating arrangement, saying that it is an industry standard and that the seats will be 'ergonomically designed' and come with 'seat cushioning technology'.  He also adds that the seats will come fitted with seatback high definition TV screens and space for mobile devices.  Additionally, the reconfigured 777s are reported to come with in-flight wifi.  

In recent years, carriers that have been accustomed to a 3-3-3 seating arrangement on their 777 aircrafts have moved away from it and embraced a 3-4-3 seating arrangement.  Even five-star carriers such as Qatar Airways and Etihad have gradually moved away from the said 9-abreast seating, which was said to have given them an advantage over Emirates, a carrier that has used 10-abreast seating for a long time.  Industry experts believe that although the 10-abreast seating is tighter for passengers, it allows carriers to increase capacity and sell more seats without necessarily ordering new aircraft.    

Philippine Airlines and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines are among other carriers that operate 777s with 10-abreast seats in Manila.  

Sources: Routesonline, Australian Business Traveller

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