Japan Airlines is to introduce redesigned business and first class products on its new 777-300ER aircraft, with the Tokyo-New York route the first to see the new seating.
The JAL Suite (first) and JAL Shell Flat Neo Seat (business) seating will debut on August 1 on the New York route, initially operating every other day on flights JL005 and JL006, before going daily on August 11. Tokyo-San Francisco will follow on September 13, with Chicago and Los Angeles getting the new seating in 2009.
The new JAL Suite will be “20 per cent more spacious” than the carrier’s current first-class offering, and will be configured in two rows of 1-2-1. It will feature a 78.5-inch fully-flat bed, with mattresses by Tempur made from “a visco-elastic temperature sensitive material that moulds to your body”.
Other features include an ottoman for companion dining, 19-inch TV screen with AVOD entertainment system, side shelf and several stowage spaces, and a laptop power point.
The new business-class seating is an improved version of the carrier’s current JAL Shell Flat Seat, with increased seat width and pitch, and a 75.6-inch lie-flat bed at nine degrees from horizontal. The seat upholstery has also been given a “slip-proof cover”, and the centre console of the seat has been expanded to include more stowage space.
Another change to JAL’s business class (refered to by the airline as Executive Class Seasons) will be the addition of a “Sky Gallery”, with a wall of photographic exhibitions located opposite a self-service bar area. The first exhibition will feature photographs of Japanese forests, and is being run in conjunction with Fuji Film.
JAL’s recently introduced premium economy seating (click here for a review on the London-Tokyo route) will also appear on the new 777-300ERs.
The new first class suite has been created by JPA Design, the company responsible for the business class seating on Singapore Airlines’ A380 superjumbo, as well as the carrier’s business and first prodcuts on its 777-300ER aircraft. JPA has also been chosen to carry out Gulf Air’s forthcoming revamp, to include aircraft interiors, livery, uniform and lounges (see online news April 11).
Report by Mark Caswell