ANA joins ten-across B777 club

All Nippon Airways has broken ranks with Japan Airlines and will configure its B777-300ERs with ten-across seating in economy.

Until recently, both ANA and JAL had prided themselves on offering old-fashioned standards of comfort in their economy cabins.

Both Japanese carriers remained aloof from the current trend of squeezing in an increasing number of economy passengers on their B777s and B787s to raise extra cash.

Indeed, both remain the world’s only B787 Dreamliner operators to honour Boeing’s recommended eight-across economy class seating.

But last year ANA decided to break ranks with its local rival (see news, July 2013) when its newly-acquired B787s with premium economy seating adopted a fresh layout whereby the economy cabin was downgraded from eight-across to nine-across. These particular planes have been observed on ANA’s German routes.

Now reports that ANA has also broken ranks with JAL over its B777-300ER seating.

Ironically, on the day when ANA was boasting of its five-star status, it quietly updated its seat plan chart (Japanese language only) to include a B777-300ER variant with this latest layout – see the top entry here.

ANA operates the B777-300ER in various configurations. The latest four-cabin layout accommodates eight passengers in first, 52 in business, 24 in premium economy and 180 in the economy cabin. That gives a total passenger count of 264.

By the standards of other B777-300ER carriers, that’s not excessive (Air Canada’s new three-class B777-300ERs squeeze in 458 passengers). But ANA’s tighter economy cabin allows it to boost the seat count from 166 to 180.

Fourteen seats may not seem a lot, but on ANA’s high revenue routes a fully-booked aircraft could conceivably earn thousands of pounds in extra revenue per flight.

ANA’s four-class B777-300ERs are its flagships and operate important routes linking Japan with the US and Europe.

At this stage, it is unclear if or when the new variant will come to Europe. But as London is one of ANA’s most popular destinations, it must only be a matter of time before the latest B777-300ER makes an appearance at Heathrow.

Alex McWhirter

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  • It seems that 777 operators with the original nine abreast seating will be in the minority soon – if not already.

  • BA and JAL maintain 9 abreast on 777s between UK and Japan in economy, thankfully.

    Notable that SQ and CX remain 9 abreast operators, as do UA and QR.

    It’s really up to passengers to make it known to airlines that it is a factor in their choice of airline, but to be honest – it isn’t for most – most haven’t a clue and think they are all pretty much the same and vary on price.

  • Thank you for your comments. The first flights of ANA’s refitted B777-300ER are expected be on the transpacific between Tokyo and the USA.

    Figures released by Boeing show that a majority of airlines are now ordering their B777-300ERs in a 10- rather than a 9-across economy class configuration.

    As recently as 2010, just 15 per cent of airlines took delivery of their B777-300ERs in a 10-across layout (85 per cent opted for 9-across).

    Two years later in 2012, the equivalent figures were 69 per cent and 31 per cent.

    In 2014 the trend will have increased further still.

  • This is the second article I’ve seen on Business Traveller which claims Air Canada are squeezing 458 pax into their 777 300ER’s

    Air Canada”s seat plan lists the total at 349, while Boeing state the 777 300ER’s capacity at 365. Both way short of the 458 claimed. I believe the next gen 777 9X will seat just over 400, so where are you getting this number from?

  • Following on from my last comment. According to Air Canada’s website, their 777 300ER in fact are set out in a 9 abreast layout in economy.

  • @Speedybird

    Click on the “three-cabin configuration” for the Air Canada link. Alternatively, see the first section in the main content section of the page. You will see that the new layout has 458 seats.

  • Hello Speedybird

    As has already been noted above, Air Canada operates two versions of the B777-300ER. The newest aircraft accommodate 458 passengers in a three-class layout which includes a premium economy cabin.

    Here’s the story we ran in February 2013:

    And here’s the seating plan:

  • In the midst of every airline configuring to 10 abreast, kudos to CZ to sticking to 9 abreast on their new 777’s.

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