Air France has announced that they will be spending more than 50,000 Euros on brand new Business Class seats that will have the capabilities to transform into fully-flat beds, at ease. The change that the airline is due to make has been made considerably later than other airlines who have already implemented the fully-flat beds such as British Airways who originally introduced the fully-flat bed seating for Business Class passengers.
The new Business Class cabins are set to be introduced across the fleet of Boeing 777 aircrafts that the airline operates by the summer. Within each Business Class cabin, there will be a number of ‘cocoon-like’ seats which will offer passengers more privacy due to their curved design which will enclose passengers. Despite this, passengers will not feel trapped within the seats, as each also has direct access to the aisle and can recline to a fully-flat 180 degrees to provide additional comfort.
The new Business Class seat will have a layout that is dubbed a ‘reverse-herringbone’; all will be forward-facing and will offer additional room and privacy. For people who are travelling together, there is a partition in the middle which will slide and can be moved to allow colleagues and guests the chance to communicate with each other at ease.
Air France is currently the largest airline in Europe; it will be fitting its Boeing 777 wide-bodied aircrafts with the specially manufactured Business Class seating which has been designed by Zodiac Aerospace. The roll out will take a total of two years to complete, Air France revealed yesterday.
A total of 2,102 new seats will be introduced to the Business Class cabins; 44 of the airline’s Boeing 777 aircrafts will be receiving the upgrades from June of this year to the summer of 2016. The decision to roll-out the newly designed Business Class cabin follows the airline’s overall overhaul of their products which included renovations in their Economy Class cabin. These feature new seats, with more legroom, in-flight entertainment which features touch-screen monitors and additional plug sockets.
Part of the upgrade will also include new in-flight entertainment equipment. This will mean that each of the new Business Class seats will be fitted with a high-definition screen measuring 16 inches with a screen surface similar to a tablet that will allow passengers to scroll through the entertainment selections. Business travellers will still have access to the IFE system which will provide them with over 1,000 hours of television, music content and movies in a variety of languages which include Arabic, French, Chinese, Korean, English and Chinese. Passengers will also be able to make use of the USB ports and personal electrical sockets which are on offer, along with complementary head phones designed to for noise-reduction. The upgrade to the cabins is limited to only the Air France brand as KLM spent the last year rejuvenating the front of their Business Class cabins.
The first of the airline’s Boeing 777 aircrafts which will be equipped with the newly designed seats will operate on the airline’s popular service to New York which departs from Paris. The upgraded aircraft will be deployed in June; gradually, the airline will begin to rollout the new cabins to the services they provide to Tokyo and Shanghai. Over the next two years, Air France will then begin to equip further aircrafts, including their double-decker Airbus A380 aircrafts and the smaller Airbus A330 aircrafts. Some of the older models that the airline operates including the Boeing 747 will not be receiving the new cabin, as they are moving towards the end of their service life in the airline’s fleet.