Bmi introduces fully-flat seats in business class on long-haul flights

4 Oct 2007 by Mark Caswell

Business travellers flying long haul with Bmi can now benefit from the airline’s
new fully-flat business class product and generous premium economy seats.

Both of Bmi’s long-haul A330s, which ply the routes
between Manchester and Chicago, Las Vegas and the Caribbean will offer 18
fully-flat seats in business class and 30 new seats in the premium economy

The airline’s third A330, which flies from London
Heathrow to Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh and Jeddah, will offer a two-class product in
line with the high demand for business class seats on that particular route,
with 42 business class seats and 156 in economy.

While the new products have been available on one
of the A330s ex-Manchester since September 26th, Business Traveller went behind
the scenes yesterday to test the seats on another of the Manchester planes,
before it launches to Las Vegas today [Thursday]. Passengers flying out of
Heathrow to Saudi Arabia will have to wait a few more weeks for the new

The new business class cabin has 18 seats in a
staggered 2-2-2 configuration. This is less than the previous offering of 24
seats because the seats are now fully-flat with a seat pitch of 78-80 inches and
have a 26-inch width (six inches more than BA’s Club World, and United and
Saudi’s business class offerings).

The electronic brown and beige leather seats are
fully adjustable with three pre-set seat positions as well as buttons for finer
tuning. There are blue blankets and pillows and a new amenity kit in a stylish
brown case including products by Clarins, a photo wallet and a mirror. The
in-flight entertainment has also been upgraded (although is still not AVOD) and
business class passengers now have a 15-inch seat-back screen with
noise-cancelling headphones. The remote is in the right hand armrest and the
fold-out table is in the left. There are power points for phones and laptops
also in the seat.

Perhaps taking the lead in the premium economy
offering, premium economy passengers have their own cabin with 30 of the old Bmi
business class seats in a 2-2-2 configuration. The upholstery is dark and pale
blue and it’s a generous offering with a 49-inch seat pitch, 50 degree recline
and 21-inch seat width, as well as electronic leg rest and lumbar support. The
in-flight entertainment is the same offering as in business class but with a
9-inch screen from the armrest.

So what about the Bmed fleet which Bmi will operate
from October 28? Will the new product be on offer on those routes in the future?
Tim Bye, deputy chief executive said: “I’d like to say we will see it on flights
to Beirut, Tehran, Amman and so on, but the decision has not been made yet. We
need to see how the integration works and then maybe put an A330 on those

Bmi is launching its new flight to Cairo on
November 4, but the mid-haul route will not have the new business class

For prices and more information see

Report by Felicity

Loading comments...
Be up-to-date
Magazine Subscription
To see our latest subscription offers for Business Traveller editions worldwide, click on the Subscribe & Save link below