In September 2021, we learned how Air China was planning on introducing new business class seats. While this happened a bit behind schedule (unsurprisingly, given the lack of demand for long haul travel in China the past few years), the first plane with these seats is now flying.
Recaro’s CL6720 seat debuts on Air China
German aircraft seat manufacturer Recaro has its new CL6720 seats, which are being installed on Air China. While Air China was supposed to be the launch customer for these seats, Iberia ended up introducing them first, given delays with Air China’s A350 deliveries.
These seats have debuted on the 15 Airbus A350-900s that Air China has just started taking delivery of. In recent weeks, Air China has taken delivery of A350s with the registration codes B-32AS, B-32CA, and B-32CE, and all of these planes feature this product. While two of the planes have only flown from Toulouse to Beijing so far, B-32CE has started operating flights within China as of January 2023.
For context, Air China had 15 A350-900s in its fleet prior to this, featuring reverse herringbone seats, which was already a new type of business class seat for the airline.
The new cabins have staggered seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, featuring a lot more privacy than was previously found on these planes. As you’d expect, all seats have direct aisle access and turn into 78″ fully flat beds, with “premium foam technology.”
Based on the pictures, it appears that the walls are quite high, and that passengers have quite a “cocoon” for getting comfortable. Recaro also claims that these seats are lightweight, helping airlines save on fuel costs and reduce their carbon footprint.
While there’s the option of having doors on these seats, Air China instead opted to just have privacy dividers. So the first picture below shows what Air China’s cabins look like, while the pictures underneath that show how these seats could look with doors.
As mentioned above, Iberia ended up beating Air China to the punch here with putting this product into service, as Iberia’s newest Airbus A350-900s also have these seats. Furthermore, Iberia opted to have doors.
This is an evolution of the Recaro CL6710 seat
If the general seat design (minus the doors and high walls) looks familiar, it’s because this seat is based on one of Recaro’s previous seat models. Specifically, this is an evolved (and more private) version of the Recaro CL6710 seat. This seat can be found on EL AL’s Boeing 787-9s, TAP Air Portugal’s Airbus A330-900neos, and Azul’s Airbus A330-900neos.
For those who haven’t flown this seat, I think it’s most comparable to United’s new Polaris seats, in terms of the general layout and comfort (though that seat is from a different manufacturer).
It seems like Recaro’s new business class suite has the same general footprint, just with significantly more privacy.
Air China has put its new Recaro CL6720 business class product into service, featuring direct aisle access and added privacy. Air China is installing these seats on its newest Airbus A350s. The carrier currently has three planes with these seats, and more should be delivered in the coming months. Air China isn’t the only airline on which you’ll find this product, though, as Iberia has also quietly introduced this, with the added benefit of having doors.
This is an evolution of the CL6710 seat, which is found on EL AL, TAP Air Portugal, etc. This looks like an excellent business class product, and it’s great to see the general trend of more seating manufacturers introducing products with added privacy.
What do you make of the new Recaro CL6720 seat?
Strange that even with a great hard-product; most of the Chinese airlines still have a huge problem with maintaining or providing a coherent soft-product. With unsophisticated inflight/ground-service and food.
Not sure how I feel about supporting a carrier that is owned by the Chinese state and I don’t think they’ve ever dealt with the whole pilots smoking on the flight deck issue, have they? Air China would be bottom of my list for a flight to PRC.
Sliding doors for every J seat on an airplane? What sort of sorcery is this?
Just airlines reacting to the trend of people becoming more and more socially inept and having anxiety. The usage of psycho pills exponentially increasing has been a great indicator for this.
i think it's funny most people obsess with the little sliding door feature and "suites" name, people can just stand up and see inside your "suites" seat :)
I prefer Air China's current seats, which seem more spacious. I'd rather have room than a door.
I've flown with TAP in their CL6710 seat and it is small and lack place to put a laptop or a tablet. It lacks so much storage space.
United seat is way way better.
This new and improved version of the CL6710 does seems like it also lacks storage space.
Agreed 100%. Also flew TAP and it felt super cramped even without a door. And the cushion felt overly firm. And yes, about zero storage available. I don't think the UA seat is an improvement, though; I think they're both awful but for slightly different reasons. I have no immediate plans/desire to fly Air China, but this "improvement" certainly doesn't help change my mind. They should've kept reverse herringbone as I think it's a far superior seat.