Transportation Updates

Cathay Pacific Ups Its IFE Offering With Full HBO MAX Roll Out

Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific is boosting its inflight entertainment options, adding HBO Max to its suite of entertainment offerings. Cathay Pacific says it is the first airline in the Asia-Pacific region to introduce the well-regarded streaming platform on short and long-haul flights.

Cathay Pacific is launching HBO Max across all aircraft on January 1, 2022. Photo: Boeing

Some serious inflight HBO binging on the horizon

Starting January 1, 2022, Cathay Pacific will add more than 200 hours of HBO content over the first three months to the inflight entertainment package on every flight. Every seat on every Cathay Pacific aircraft already has seatback screens.

As one report notes, a Cathay Pacific jet will have to circle the globe 45 times before passengers need to start rewatching inflight entertainment content.

From January, passengers will be able to binge their way through contemporary hits such as SuccessionThe White LotusThe Undoing, and Mare of Easttown, as well as dip their toes back into classics such as The Sopranos, The Wire, Game of Thrones, and Band of Brothers. 

“To be the first in Asia to launch the HBO Max brand, not just onboard flights but anywhere is exceptional,” says Cathay Pacific’s General Manager Customer Experience and Design, Vivian Lo. “It’s a great example of an airline and streaming service working together to bring an unprecedented entertainment experience to passengers, and we hope our customers find their next new binge-worthy show on Cathay Pacific.”

Every Cathay Pacific plane offers seatback entertainment screens. Photo: Cathay PacificStay informed:Sign up for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.

irlines start signing up to provide HBO Max

Cathay Pacific joins a small band of airlines already offering the streaming platform. In North America, Delta Air Lines offers HBO Max programming and offers seatback entertainment screens on around 90% of its approximately 800 aircraft.

Over the past month or so, both Emirates and LATAM have added HBO Max to their inflight entertainment offering. The recent batch of signups suggests there is a push on to get the streaming platform into the air.

Emirates added the platform in October, coinciding with the streaming platform’s European launch. However, the Emirates’ HBO offering is initially more threadbare than what will be available on Cathay Pacific. Emirates started out offering 160 hours of HBO content from 31 shows. Cathay Pacific will build to 200 hours in the first three months of 2022 and shoot for 300 hours by the end of the year.

Last week LATAM said it would be the first airline in Latin America to offer HBO Max inflight. The deal sees the LATAM Play entertainment platform now offering more than 700 hours of premium content, including movies, documentaries, TV shows, and music.

The seatback entertainment screens in the economy class cabin on Cathay Pacific’s A321neo aircraft. Photo: Cathay Pacific

Streaming platform part of continual product upgrades at Cathay Pacific

In the heart of LATAM country, Cathay Pacific’s Latin American outpost has come out and strongly promoted their airline’s new deal.

“This (deal) significantly enriched inflight entertainment offering epitomizes Cathay Pacific’s efforts to enhance the customer experience as it continues to fulfill its ‘Move Beyond’ brand promises,” says CXAgent Latin America.

“Cathay Pacific is continuously enhancing the passenger experience, giving customers more ways to make the most of their journey. Notably, the majority of the airline’s fleet will be Wi-Fi-enabled by 2020 in addition to having more content than ever before.”

Cathay Pacific’s Vivian Lo says the airline has used the travel downturn downtime to improve its inflight entertainment offering, among other service upgrades.

In November, Cathay Pacific was flying to 41 destinations worldwide with around 59% of its 173 aircraft in the air.

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