United’s new fully flat business on majority of B767 fleet

United Airline’s new fully flat business class seat is now on the majority of its B767 fleet, with completion by May 2009. Plus new routes for 2009.

United Airlines’ managing director of Sales, Europe, Africa, Middle East and India, Marcel Fuchs has confirmed that the roll out of United’s fully flat business class bed is continuing, with 13 of its 21 aircraft now fitted.

“We’ve been getting very good reviews of the business class seat,” says Mr Fuchs. “The seat itself, the inflight entertainment which is the new Audio and Video on Demand, the games, the movies, the inseat power and of course the ability to sleep in a fully flat bed, all adds to the offering.”

The new business class seating is also being introduced on the United B747 fleet, with 12 of the 24 aircraft being refurbished by the end of 2008 with a completion date of October 2009, and the B777 fleet starting its reconfiguration in September 2009.

“At present the new seats are on eight of the 12 markets we are flying into,” says Fuchs. “All three of our London Chicago flights have the new seats, and it is on a number of Paris services and the London to Washington daytime flight [on the B767].  We’ve been very conservative about promoting the seat to avoid disappointment if it isn’t on a particular flight, but on London to Chicago we can be fairly sure to have it 90% of the time, aircraft changes notwithstanding.”

Mr Fuchs pointed out that as well as the new seats the cabin has been refreshed and is much quieter and more discreet, and the food and beverage offering had been changed.

In other news, Mr Fuchs:

•    Confirmed that the B777 fleet will also have a new economy seat to allow for the new Inflight Entertainment system to be installed.

•    Pointed to the Dubai-Washington flight inaugurated on October 27th with the B777 as evidence of United’s international expansion. The midnight departure from Dubai allowing for early morning arrival in Washington using the B777 ready for connections to domestic services. It is the carrier’s second middle east destination after Kuwait.

•    Looked forward to Spring 2009 and the return of London to Denver with 11 services each week out of London Heathrow, with a fourth daily Washington service in place for the summer schedule.

•    The commencement of the Moscow to Washington Dulles service from March 27 2009 using a newly configured B767.

•    The commencement of Geneva to Washington from April 20, United’s second market in Switzerland after Zurich, taking the total number of transatlantic services to 31 each week. “A significant upgrade from last year,” according to Fuchs.

United’s new seating will be reviewed in the February 2009 issue of Business Traveller magazine, and online at businesstraveller.com.

To see a seatplan of the new configuration on the aircraft, click here.

To read a review of the United’s new first class product, click here.

To see details of the new products on United’s own website, click here.

Report by Tom Otley


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