Wayfarer review: Cathay Pacific’s brilliant Business Class firmly remains one of Asia’s finest cabins

by James Wilkinson

For over a decade, Cathay Pacific’s Business Class cabin has been one of Asia’s best thanks to spacious, lie-flat seats, exceptional service, great inflight entertainment and fantastic food and beverage. Is it as good as it was when it debuted? It’s even better as James Wilkinson discovers.

Cathay Pacific’s medium- and long-haul fleet of Airbus A350s, Airbus A330s and Boeing 777-300ERs make flying a fantastic experience and a lot of it comes down to what’s on offer in Business Class, which is headlined by spacious flatbeds seats that feature plenty of storage and space, alongside a sleeper service with large pillows and duvets, restaurant-style dining and hundreds’ of hours entertainment on demand.

Once you put the world-class Hong Kong lounges into the mix alongside world-class service, you have a Business Class experience that’s quite simply exceptional.

Business Class is in a 1-2-1 layout, meaning all seats have direct aisle access and are some of the most spacious to be found in the sky.

The first thing you will notice is the amount of space available, from the side storage, which can fit a handbag, laptop or magazines, plus the side cabinet for headphones, valuables and even iPads, and also the shoe locker.

There’s an oversized tray that’s ideal for working or dining on and once a meal turns up, you’ll find room to place your computer or iPad to the side and still have access to the full tray table.

The generously-wide 21-inch seat then reclines a full 82-inches when retracted into bed mode and there is a generous 29.5-inch width when the armrest is retracted.

The experience then gets better when duvets, blankets, pillows and cushions help create a comfortable and restful sleeper service, ideal for the night flights to destinations like Sydney, New York and London.

If you’re travelling with a companion, it would be best to book a pair of seats in the centre of the aircraft, which are gently angled towards each other and can slide forward, allowing you to chat or dine together with your friend, colleague or loved one.

Don’t fret if you score one of the centre of the jets if travelling alone though as there is a screen for added privacy.

When it comes to the food and beverage on offer, Cathay Pacific has been on a constant mission in recent years to constantly up the ante.

The carrier recently signed a deal with Michelin-starred French restaurant Louise to bring its fresh take on traditional French cuisine to the skies.

Building on the success of the airline’s all-new selection of ‘Hong Kong Flavours’ created in collaboration with Cantonese fine-dining institution Duddell’s, Cathay Pacific is teaming-up with Louise to present an exclusive menu of 16 reinterpreted French classics on selected long-haul flights departing from Hong Kong.

“We’re thrilled to be working with Louise to create a bespoke menu of reimagined French classics that showcase the craftsmanship and ingenuity of Cathay Pacific and Louise,” said Cathay Pacific General Manager Customer Experience and Design Vivian Lo.

“Through the exchange of ideas and expertise with the Louise team, we hope to inspire and challenge ourselves to continue to innovate and improve our food and beverage offerings.”

Alongside the new French offering, Cathay Pacific has been known for its fantastic selection of Cantonese, western and healthy dishes, washed down with wines from across the globe, usually spanning Portugal to Australia, Spain and France, alongside the airline’s own Betsy beer.

If you are on a long-haul route, you can choose dishes from 10 days out to 24 hours before departure and options range from contemporary Asian signature meals to western classics and more.

On the entertainment front, Cathay Pacific’s Business Class seats feature flatscreen touchscreen TVs that are loaded-up with the always impressive StudioCX entertainment system, named best in the world by Skytrax in 2023, which offers a range of Hollywood blockbusters, cinema classics, TV shows, music albums and games.

If you want to work on your laptop or device or play content from them, in the seat you’ll also find a universal Power Supply outlet, a multiport connector and a USB port.

When it comes to sleep, get ready for a relaxing ride thanks to large pillows and duvets and when you wake, grab some luxury Bamford skincare products from the amenity kit you’ll want to keep and you’ll arrive fresh and ready for the day ahead.

Before departure in Hong Kong, head for the Wing or the Pier Business Class lounges – depending on the gate location – and have a glass of wine or a snack (save room for the onboard meals) to round out your travel experience, which, once you include the impeccable Cathay service, is nothing short of exceptional.

For the best prices and more, book your ticket at cathaypacific.com