Cathay Pacific Airways Limited, the flag carrier of Hong Kong, will debut its new business class dining service on Boeing 777 flights to Chicago in July. The program will be offered next year for flights to Australia and London. The new service will include three starter choices and six main course choices. The menu will serve “lighter, healthier” meals, as well as “a most loved main course” for each route.
In an email to staff, Cathay Pacific said, "The new Business Class service elevates the customer experience towards the First Class service, offering a far higher degree of personalization. First Class will continue to offer higher degrees of privacy, more space, better amenities and fine dining menus."
The airline will also offer business class travelers express meals and lighter supper entrees for late night departures. In addition, the airline will introduce a card for passengers to fill out before going to sleep so they can enjoy a "hotel room-service" breakfast. Aside from the Western and Asian breakfasts, the menu will offer a lighter continental breakfast and an express breakfast, which will include a pastry and a drink, for passengers that want to sleep in and eat shortly before landing.
Cathay passengers cannot only expect better quality meals but "restaurant-style food presentation, greater choice and flexibility and more personalized service" that aims to provide "a memorable dining experience and personalization."
"The new service will offer customers greater choice and flexibility than the current service without being Dine on Demand," a spokesperson for Cathay Pacific said. "Our customers have told us that improving the quality, presentation and choice of food served onboard are the most important priorities."
Cathay flight attendants will take part in "a comprehensive two-day training programme to support them as the stars of the show” that focuses on “service philosophy, galley facilitation and service delivery in the cabin."
Cathay Pacific hopes to deliver the new business class meal service on all "long and ultra-long-haul routes" by mid-2019. The airline says it will focus on long international flights "as we believe it is most valued on these flights by customers. Eventually, all flights will feature some elements of the new service."
"In a competitive environment, we must continue to invest and grow as a full service and premium airline. The new service is a step change and gives our customers what they are asking for. It aims to cater to the changing needs of the premium passenger and help us win more customers."
According to Kinto Chan, director of corporate affairs for Cathay Pacific, “We listened to our customers and what they were telling us was they wanted four different things from business class dining: better quality food, more interaction with our crew, a better personalization programme, and more control over how they want to eat their food."
“There’s still structure, so we will also encourage our customers to eat immediately after take-off. But because the menu has been made in such a varied manner, you can actually order something mid-flight when you wake up and you can decide when you want to eat,” he added.
The new business class menu is a response to negative feedback from passengers. "When people tell you things that they don't like it may not feel comfortable but at least they care but that's why they tell you and they want you to improve so you make some changes," said Paul Loo, chief customer and commercial officer for Cathay Pacific.