LATAM’s First 777 With New Business Class Seats

Filed Under: LATAM

About a year ago I wrote about how LATAM is spending $400 million updating their interiors across their fleet, which includes installing a new business class product.

Currently the airline has a pretty lackluster business class hard product, as all planes have either six or seven seats per row in business class. So not only do they not have direct aisle access from every seat, but some 777s have angled seats in business class.

Going forward, LATAM will have Vantage XL seats in business class, similar to what you’ll find on RwandAir, Qantas, and SAS. Seats will have 18″ personal monitors.

LATAM’s new business class


LATAM’s new business class


LATAM’s new business class

In March I wrote about how LATAM’s first 767-300 with new business class seats entered service. This is a LATAM Peru plane with the registration CC-CXC. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be operating any route consistently, but rather is being cycled throughout the network, so there’s no way to guarantee you’ll get this plane.

Clearly this is going to be a slow process, since no other 767s have been reconfigured since then.

The good news is that LATAM’s first 777-300ER with new business class seats is now in service. This is a LATAM Brazil plane with the registration PT-MUD.

It seems that the plane had its work done in Abu Dhabi, as it has been out of service for months, and flew from Abu Dhabi to Sao Paulo earlier this week. Then today it operated its first commercial flight, from Sao Paulo to Santiago.

Based on looking at the seatmap, it seems the reconfigured planes have 38 business class seats.

It’s nice that the plane is flying, but without it being consistently scheduled on any route, that’s not terribly useful. LATAM has 10 777s, so as of now you have a 10% chance of getting this plane.

The bad news is that we’re seeing a massive reduction in premium seats here — LATAM is going from 56 to 38 business class seats. So that’s bad news for fares and award availability, not that they were great about making award seats available anyway.

This does lead me to believe that LATAM will have to consistently schedule the plane on particular routes, because the difference in business class capacity is so great.

So what’s LATAM’s plan from here? LATAM expects to finish reconfiguring planes in the next two years, but the specifics of that aren’t totally clear. What we do know is that:

  • LATAM Argentina won’t receive the new interiors
  • Future delivery A350s and 787s will feature the new interiors, and the first such plane is expected later this year
  • Existing A350s and 787s won’t feature the new interiors
  • Hopefully the remaining non-Argentina 767s and 777s are reconfigured in the next couple of years


LATAM’s current 787-9 business class

So for the time being I guess people should be delighted if they get the new interiors, but not expect it. If you are flying LATAM Peru on a 767 or LATAM Brazil on a 777 in the coming months, check the seatmap close to departure, and maybe you’ll luck out.

If anyone ends up on a LATAM plane with the new seats, please report back!

(Tip of the hat to Ingeniero de Millas)

Comments
  1. Well…. actually the idea for LATAM Argentina is to have an interchange agreement accepted by the unions and local authorities, so the new interiors will be present on Argentinian long-haul routes by using planes registered in Chile or other countries.
    The 767s currently based in Argentina are planned to be scraped or sold, supposedly later this year.

  2. This plane will fly LA8064 GRU/MAD route July 23, 25, 27 and 29, LA8065 Return 24, 26, 28 and 30.
    At least this is the seatmap that appears for this flight

  3. Hi, Ben. Long time reader here. Not all 767 are going to be reconfigured, but only those old ones with 18C, used in Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile and Argentina. Those in use in Brazil by former Tam with 30C seats are arguably new planes, 8 to 6 years old, and will continue flying as they are today.

  4. I’m going to fly LATAM from MAD to GRU on the 28-Jul and the seat map shows the new business class product. Hopefully there won’t be a swap in aircraft

  5. Always get this old business class setup on the A350 BCN-DOH-BCN operated by Qatar …. can’t wait to get a change.

  6. Am I the only one that doesn’t like the new angled solo single business seat ??
    My partner and I enjoy sitting window side now most duo business class seats are in the middle !
    Looks like we need to slum in it in premium economy !

  7. @RJ

    QR’s A350s have either Qsuites or their previous reverse herringbone seat — which I’d argue is the world’s 2nd-best J seat, after Qsuites (though it may slip down the rankings as more airlines introduce suites). QR is anyway replacing the herringbones with Qsuites, though I haven’t seen anyone talk about the timescale for when that job will be finished.

    In the meantime, I’d be thrilled if the worst J seat I ever got on any airline was up to the standard of QR’s worst A350 seats.

  8. @The nice Paul
    Yes I like the A350 reverse herringbone seat as well. I think it is good for day flights or shorter flight and the QSuite is perfect for long flights over 8h and overnight flights.
    When I fly BCN-TYO I try to always fly QR, even if I also like the Sky Suite III of JAL. But longer flight thru LHR. Or thru HEL but the BNC-HEL leg is A320.

    On BCN-DOH / DOH-BCN, QR is operating 3 flights, all on A350. QR138, QR 146 and QR142. The QR 146 is using the LATAM A350, leased to QR (or from QR to LATAM ?), so we get this older hard product from LATAM. Not bad, spacious but no privacy and 2-2-2 configuration instead of 1-2-1 …
    So I try to get the later flight QR142 but this means arriving at midnight in Tokyo.

  9. Reply to @Paul Mayne – I think the beauty now is that most airlines propose this option. You are a solo flyer you can have a solo seat and if you travel in couple you can have the love nest. Compared to the usual 2-2-2 that doesn’t have this option.
    For this I like Qatar or Etihad configuration. Can be very private for a solo travel and cosy for couple or family of 4 (QR).

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