Air France has operated the first flight to feature its new medium-haul cabin.
The national carrier flew the A319 aircraft from Airbus' headquarters in Toulouse to Paris Charles de Gaulle.
The redesigned seat, which is upholstered in leather, is being fitted in all cabin classes on the airline's medium-haul fleet based at Paris CDG.
New medium-haul seating
It is being installed on 24 A319 aircraft in the first half of this year, with 25 A320s to follow in the first half of 2016.
Frédéric Gagey, chairman and CEO of Air France, said: "It's now time to make sure we win the battle on medium-haul. With these new cabins, we aim to once again be among the best in the world."
Air France is also launching a new "Economy Flex" medium-haul fare for business passengers (see news, November 27).
Available on flights from next month, the tickets are transferable in the same booking class and refundable at no extra charge. Passengers will also be able to catch an earlier flight than scheduled, on the same day and at no cost.
They will be able to earn Flying Blue miles, have access to Air France's fast-track Skypriority services and will be allocated seats at the front of the economy cabin.
And, Air France is upgrading its medium-haul business class offering to include a full breakfast in the morning — coffee, tea, fruit juice, bread and pastries — and a snack or cold meal at other times of the day.
Service on longer flights will be "modelled on that of long-haul flights. A welcome drink, hot meals, wine service, gourmet coffee and liqueur will be offered. On all flights, warm pastries and crusty bread will be served directly from the oven."