Cathay Pacific Airways plans to introduce premium economy seats in the second quarter of 2012 and will deploy them throughout its fleet by end-2012.

The premium economy seats will be rolled out on all the Oneworld carrier's long-haul routes, said CEO John Slosar. These include routes to Europe, North America, Australia, the Middle East and other destinations.

"The seat will be more like a regional business class seat," said Slosar. "We'll have great recline and plenty of leg space. We'll be doing all this quite quickly, although it will still take most of 2012 before it is on most of our aircraft."

The new premium economy seats will be installed at the same time that Cathay installs its new business class seats for long-haul flights, a plan that the airline originally announced last December.

Cathay on 10 August said its first-half 2011 profit fell by 59% to HK$2.18 billion ($279 million), largely because of higher fuel costs.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news