Hong Kong Airlines’ A350 Gets a Huge Business-Class Upgrade

Sep 5, 2018

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Hong Kong Airlines made headlines around the world last month, when it decided to honor an outrageously low “mistake fare” between Los Angeles (LAX) and Asia. Travelers were able to book tickets in business class for just over $550 round-trip — a small fraction of the regular price for a lie-flat seat.

Initially, those flights are being operated by one of the airline’s first four Airbus A350s, which feature staggered 1-2-1 seats in business class. With this arrangement, window-facing seats offer decent privacy, but the rest of the seats are quite exposed.

Hong Kong Airlines’ staggered business class. Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Airlines.

Just last week, however, Hong Kong Airlines took delivery of its fifth A350, the first to feature a far superior business-class product.

This new reverse-herringbone seat will be installed on A350s going forward.

Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Airlines.

These new seats are manufactured by B/E Aerospace, and offer considerably more privacy and storage.

Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Airlines.

They’re similar — even though they’re manufactured by different companies — to those offered on Cathay Pacific’s A350.

Cathay Pacific A350 business class. Photo by Zach Honig.

They actually appear to be the same model installed on one version of American’s retrofitted 777-200s.

Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Airlines.
Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Airlines.

As with Cathay’s and American’s planes, window seats offer the most privacy.

Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Airlines.
Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Airlines.

Seats lie completely flat, and include a rear shell, adding privacy in bed mode.

Passengers receive a pillow and comforter, but it doesn’t seem that a mattress pad is offered, unfortunately.

Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Airlines.
Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Airlines.

Each seat has a 17-inch touchscreen in-flight entertainment system, with a separate handheld wired remote.

Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Airlines.
Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Airlines.

There’s also a decent amount of storage, both on top of the side table, and underneath.

Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Airlines.
Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Airlines.

Hong Kong Airlines’ first plane with this new arrangement, B-LGE, will initially operate flights between Hong Kong (HKG) and Bangkok (BKK), but it’ll be added to the carrier’s Los Angeles flight “in a couple of weeks.” Unfortunately there aren’t any plans to retrofit the first four A350s at this point, and since both planes have 33 seats in business class, you could end up having either configuration operate your flight.

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