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Cathay Pacific to ...replace seats

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., Hong Kong’s biggest carrier, will replace economy-class seats in long-haul planes after passengers complained about discomfort, according to three people familiar with the plan.

The existing coach seats, which have fixed-backs to prevent passengers from disturbing the person behind them when reclining, will be refitted and moved to short-haul and regional aircraft, said the people who declined to be identified before an announcement. The seats were in 41 Cathay planes at the end of last year. Older aircraft were refitted with the units in a program that ran from 2007 to November, 2009.

“There’s been a lot of criticism of the seats,” said Shaun Rein, managing director of Shanghai-based China Market Research Group, which does consumer surveys for airlines and other clients. “It seems that Cathay is listening.”