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Five new premium airline seat products

13 Dec 2017 by Craig Bright
Malaysia Airlines A350 first class

Malaysia Airlines

Malaysia’s flag carrier took delivery of its first Airbus A350 late last month – its first of six that it will be leasing from Air Lease Corporation – and the only airbus of its ilk to feature a first class cabin.

The seat design itself is not entirely new – they have been based heavily on Thompson Aero Seating’s Vantage XL design with a few modifications – however it is the first of its kind used by Malaysian Airlines. The aircraft features four of the suites in total.

Lufthansa B777-9 business class seat

Lufthansa

German carrier Lufthansa’s newest business class seat product is still a way’s away from entering service, namely because it will be reserved for use on the yet-to-launch Boeing 777-9 aircraft, which it expects to receive in 2020.

The layout of the cabin is particularly intriguing, with an alternating 1-2-1 and 1-1-1 configuration, meaning some centre seats will be “throne seats”. There is a trade-off here though – while all will be fully flat, only some will have the confirmed 220cm bed length. Due to the additional desk space of the throne seats, these will have a shorter bed length, though Lufthansa has yet to announce just what that will be.

Flydubai B737 Max 8 business class

Flydubai

Another carrier offering throne seats, Flydubai recently unveiled its new business class cabin for its newest aircraft, the single-aisle B737 Max. The cabins have 10 business class seats, but while the first and last rows are configured 2-2, the middle row has just two throne seats on either side of the aisle.

All of the ten seats will, however, be fully flat and these throne seats will no doubt be in high demand. The airline will take delivery of six Max 8 aircraft by the end of the year, with a total of 76 B737 Max aircraft set to be received by 2023.

Emirates B777-300ER First-Class-fully-flat-bed

Emirates

While Emirates had previously unveiled details of its new B777 business class products, which features a rather unpopular 2-3-2 layout, in March, the airline’s unveiling last month of its new fully enclosed first class suites provides rather more to write home about.

Each of the 1-1-1 configured suites has floor-to-ceiling sliding doors, providing an enclosed space of about 40 square feet. Among the most notable features of the new suites are a video-call system for communicating with cabin crew, and virtual windows in the centre suites that project the view from the outside of the plane using cameras.

Singapore Airlines

Much like Emirates, Singapore Airlines has unveiled all new products for all of its cabin classes, this time for the double-decker Airbus A380. The revamped aircraft also sports impressive first class suites – now just six as opposed to the previous 12 – with a separate swivel chair and bed, which in the last two suites on either side can be combined to form a double bed.

The airline’s new business class suites are also notable with the centre bulkhead seats also able to be combined to form a double bed. While all recline to a fully flat position, only the seats at the front of the cabin recline straight forward. All other business class seats require one’s legs to extend into a gap on either the left- or right-hand side (depending on which side the aisle is) – great for people who sleep on their side but less well-suited for travellers who prefer lying on their back.

Finnair_NB-Class_C

Honourable mention

Finnair

Less a new seat product and more a cosmetic overhaul, Finnair’s new business class cabins will begin sporting a refreshed “Nordic” design with new seat textiles, seat covers, pillows, blankets and tableware.

Set to roll out in February next year, the white, grey and navy blue business class palette has been designed to mimic the interiors of Nordic homes as well as the Finnish landscape.

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BTUK October 2018 issue
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