This is exciting, and seemingly came out of nowhere.
Air France introduces business class seats with doors
Air France will be introducing a new business class product, which the airline hopes will help it move even more upmarket. Air France is working with Cirrus for its new business class, which will be reverse herringbone seats that feature direct aisle access and doors.
Air France won’t just be adding doors to its existing reverse herringbone seats, but rather the airline is rolling out seats that have been redesigned altogether. As it’s described, Air France has designed this seat based on 3 “F”s:
- Full flat, meaning that the seat transforms into a real bed almost two meters long
- Full access, providing all business class passengers direct aisle access
- Full privacy, ensuring optimal privacy thanks to the addition of doors
Beyond the added privacy, seats will also feature 17.3″ 4K high definition anti-glare screens with a noise reducing headset, a new bluetooth connection allowing passengers to use their own headphones, and several electric sockets. These 777s will also have Wi-Fi.
Below you can find the first renderings of the new cabin, which sure looks swanky to me (I love the lit up winged seahorse on the front of each storage console).
Air France will reconfigure 12 Boeing 777-300ERs
Air France’s plan is to retrofit 12 Boeing 777-300ERs with these new seats. The planes will be totally reconfigured nose-to-tail, and will feature 369 seats, including:
- 48 business class seats
- 48 premium economy seats
- 273 economy class seats
These planes will also get Air France’s latest premium economy and economy, already found on other jets, including the Airbus A350.
New York will be first destination to get new cabins
The first Boeing 777 with the new seats is expected to enter service as of September 2022.
Interestingly the first plane with the new cabins will be flying to New York JFK. While it makes sense to offer a premium product to a market like New York, this is interesting because Air France typically also offers La Premiere (first class) to New York, but these reconfigured jets won’t feature first class.
Admittedly Air France historically hasn’t offered first class on all frequencies to New York, so my guess is that this reconfigured 777-300ER frequency will replace a 777-200ER frequency (as those jets don’t have first class).
Personally I wouldn’t read too much into this in the context of the future of first class. Fewer than half of Air France’s 777-300ERs currently feature first class, so I imagine it’s some of the jets without first class being reconfigured. Furthermore, we have reason to believe that Air France will install first class on some upcoming A350s.
Air France is introducing a new business class seat on select Boeing 777s, with the first reconfigured plane expected to enter service in September. This is an exciting development, especially as sister airline KLM will also be introducing a new 777 business class soon.
It’s always nice to see an airline only announce a new product shortly before it enters service, rather than years in advance (not that I’m thinking of a particular other European airLHine when making that statement).
What do you make of Air France’s new 777 business class?