First and Business Class cabins dominated aviation news this week, with American Airlines revealing details of their retrofitted Business Class cabins and Qatar Airways announcing the new specifications of their new Business and First Class cabins with both carriers deploying the new cabins later in year.
Qatar Airways announced plans to upgrade their Business Class cabin and in-flight entertainment system on-board their Airbus A320 and A330-200 aircrafts. The modifications will mean that the new seats will recline to a fully-flat 180-degree angle. Seats will also feature headrests and lumbar support which will adjust to multiple positions to maximise individual passenger comfort.
The in-flight entertainment system will be upgraded to provide a richer experience overall. The Panasonic eX2 platform will be introduced to the aircrafts, along with 15.4 inch monitors with remote control handsets, dual screen capabilities and touch screen navigation. The A330s will also be fitted with Panasonic Global Communications Suite, allowing passengers to send and receive MMS and SMS messages.
Qatar Airways also used Berlin’s ITB travel trade show to unveil the First Class cabin that will feature on their Airbus A380 aircraft. The new cabin will have eight seats which they claim will be the largest and widest available in the air. First Class passengers will have access to an exclusive on-board lounge, as well as a new seating option called ‘dining for two’ which will enable them to sit opposite family, friends or colleagues for the duration of the flight, even during take-off and landing.
Additionally, Qatar Airways revealed more information about the opening of the Hamad International Airport expected for this year. The airline hopes that the airport, whose opening was previously delayed, will continue to strengthen Doha as an important hub for global transportation.
In other news, American Airlines’ first Boeing 767-300ER fitted with the airline’s new Business Class cabin and general interior upgrade will perform its inaugural commercial flight on 01 April. The inaugural service will operate between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and Zurich Airport.
The airline is retrofitting up to half of their Boeing 767-300ER aircraft with the newly designed Business Class cabin. This will feature 28 seats which lie-flat and provide each passenger with direct access to the aisle from their seat. Other general renovations to the cabin include newly designed lavatories, the installation of new digital audio systems and drop-down LCD monitors.