British Airways is to fit former Bmi A321 aircraft with a fully-flat “Club World” seat, although it will differ to that already offered by BA, and will be configured in a staggered 1-2, 2-1 layout.
These revamped aircraft will come online in the new year, and will serve mid-haul routes including Heathrow-Tel Aviv.
The move had been rumoured for sometime, and has been discussed on our forum here.
A spokesperson for BA confirmed that while the A321 business class cabin will offer fully-flat seating and will be marketed as "Club World", the product will differ to that familiar to long-haul BA passengers.
The seat will be configured 1-2 in the first row, then 2-1 behind, and alternating in this way to the back of the cabin.
Similar to seats launched by Finnair in 2009, the two seats positioned either side of the single seat in front of it will have their leg space under the side tables either side of the single seat (see this report and image on the Finnair seat for a better idea).
No images are available of the new seat as yet, but BA has given Business Traveller the following information on the new economy and business class seats which will appear on the A321 aircraft:
- Business class: 23 Thompson Aero Seating 78” lie-flat beds with 45” seat pitch – a revolutionary new seat offering greater personal space, setting standards for comfort
- Economy Class seat: 131 Geven “Piuma” economy seats with 31” pitch – state of the art design and new stylish appearance
- IFE: Thales i5000 AVOD system to all seats
The news was confirmed as BA announced the next part of its integration of Bmi into this winter's operations at Heathrow. Key points include:
- A new three times-daily service to Rotterdam from December 9
- Three flights per week to Alicante from October 28
- BA flights to Gibraltar will increase from seven to nine flights per week
- The carrier’s Tel Aviv route will increase from 14 to 20 services per week, with the new A321s serving flights from the new year
- Bmi services to Dammam will cease on September 16, with routes to Bishkek and Khartoum stopping on October 1, Yerevan on October 13, and Amritsar and Casablanca on October 28
- Bmi services to Cairo, Moscow, Riyadh and Jeddah will cease, although BA’s flights to these destinations will continue
- BA’s flights to Riyadh will be served with a B747 rather than the current B777
For more information visit ba.com.
Report by Mark Caswell