Details: New Air France Business Class Seats With Doors

Details: New Air France Business Class Seats With Doors

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A couple of weeks ago, Air France unveiled its new business class product, which should be in service within a few months. I wanted to provide an update on this, as we’ve also learned that select Airbus A350s will be getting these new seats as well. So let’s take a look at everything we know about Air France’s new business class.

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. All planes with the new business class product will also feature Wi-Fi, as installing this has been a priority for Air France in recent years.

Below you can find the first renderings of the new cabin on the Boeing 777, which sure looks swanky to me (I love the lit up winged seahorse on the front of each storage console).

New Air France business class seat
New Air France business class seat
New Air France business class seat
New Air France business class seat
New Air France business class seat
New Air France business class seat
New Air France business class seat
New Air France business class seat
New Air France business class seat
New Air France business class seat
New Air France business class seat

Air France will reconfigure 12 777-300ERs with new cabins

Air France’s plan is to initially retrofit 12 Boeing 777-300ERs with new business class 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.

Air France’s 777s will also get new premium economy seats

Which Boeing 777-300ERs will be reconfigured? Air France currently has 43 Boeing 777-300ERs in its fleet, and it’s my understanding that:

  • 19 Boeing 777-300ERs are in a four class configuration, featuring first class; these won’t be reconfigured
  • 10 Boeing 777-300ERs are in high-density configuration for leisure routes, with 472 seats; these planes were recently reconfigured, and won’t be reconfigured
  • The remaining Boeing 777-300ERs feature old cabins with angled business class seats, and these are the planes that I believe will be reconfigured

So suffice it to say that this will represent a huge upgrade for these tired 777s. Air France is also being pretty efficient about this, as these 777s currently feature 381 seats. When reconfigured, the planes will feature a total of 12 fewer seats, but they’ll have six additional business class seats and 24 additional premium economy seats. Wow.

Future Air France A350s will get new business class

It’s not just 12 Boeing 777-300ERs that are getting the new business class seats. On top of that, Air France revealed in a presentation yesterday that Airbus A350-900s delivered starting in 2023 will also feature the new business class.

Air France already has 17 Airbus A350-900s in its fleet, with a further 21 jets on order. It sounds like we should expect most of the remaining A350s to feature the new cabins, which is exciting. It’s also rumored that some of those A350s will feature first class, though we’ll have to wait for the full details.

Some Air France A350s are getting the new business class as well

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, on the Paris (CDG) to New York (JFK) route. As of now the plane hasn’t yet been scheduled on the route, though I imagine that will change as the schedule firms up.

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).

Air France is still committed to first class

Understandably many people wondered whether the new business class signaled that Air France is no longer committed to maintaining first class. After all, some might consider it a bit strange that the new best business class is being debuted on a plane without first class, since you’d think you’d want to offer this to the most premium destinations.

Fortunately that’s not the case. Air France has just revealed that it’s introducing a new first class (“La Premiere”) product, and we’ll also see the footprint of the product expand. The catch is that the new first class will only be introduced in late 2023 or early 2024.

My read on the situation is that Air France wanted to immediately update its Boeing 777s most in need of a refresh. It’s not like Air France is removing first class from 777s to install new business class seats. Rather the airline is starting with the planes most in need of new cabins.

When Air France does come around to introducing its new first class product, I suspect these planes will also likely get the new business class, but only time will tell.

Air France is committed to first class

Bottom line

Air France is introducing a new business class seat on select Boeing 777s and Airbus A350s. Specifically, 12 Boeing 777s will be reconfigured with the cabins starting this summer, while A350s delivered starting in 2023 will also feature these new cabins.

How exciting to see Air France-KLM really investing in the premium experience, between this, the new first class, and KLM also soon introducing a new 777 business class.

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 business class suite?

Conversations (47)
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  1. Frog Guest

    Agree, don’t really understand this obsession with doors. Flew Delta One suites last week which is the first time I’ve flown on a J seat that had a door and found it pretty claustrophobic. Left the door open most of the flight.

  2. Jay Guest

    Is it a flying horse in a snail shell with wifi logo on the back?

  3. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    Four-across premium economy is brutal. They could easy put the new A321neo Delta domestic-style privacy dividers on each seat. That would be nice.

    But as for Air France business-class seat with doors, I'd rather Air France give me a better blanket and pillow than doors on the seat. Their current business-class bedding is atrocious.

  4. George Guest

    Airlines should still offer both USB-A and USB-C.
    Wireless charging is so unnecessary imo.
    Wireless bluetooth technology is great.

  5. Jojo Guest

    How would you go about booking this on miles?

  6. JDS Guest

    I don't understand this obsession with doors. I mean, if you need privacy on a plane that badly, what on earth are you doing in your seat?? And if you need privacy so much, then why do you fly commercial? Clearly, your only solution is to rent a private jet. Then you can have all the privacy you want.

  7. Steve A Guest

    What a ghastly horrible bland featureless business class cabin. Looks like a sterile white ward at the hospital. I used to think that the French were the masters of haute culture and fashion, but Air France should know better than this after they killed off their A380 business with the same lack of beautiful exciting premium cabins as their competitors. They must have been short of funds to pay a proper designer and got their...

    What a ghastly horrible bland featureless business class cabin. Looks like a sterile white ward at the hospital. I used to think that the French were the masters of haute culture and fashion, but Air France should know better than this after they killed off their A380 business with the same lack of beautiful exciting premium cabins as their competitors. They must have been short of funds to pay a proper designer and got their Board to design it during the last 5 minutes of a Board meeting. Why would any business class passenger want to pay a premium to sit in a barren featureless wasteland like this. Like their A380's, they will be retiring these wide-body aircraft soon too saying that they can't make them pay when all they had to do to find the reason was to look in the mirror. Have all of the French lost their joie de vie or just Air France?

  8. TheBestBlackBrent Member

    Doors, doors, doors, doors, doors.

    To be honest, these (reverse) herringbone configs with a door slapped on it are often actually a worse experience. It confines the seat and make the cabin feel cluttered.

    If the door is truly part of a suite design (SQ, QR, EK F) then it makes more sense, but otherwise I'd happily take a decent reverse herringbone set-up without these silly doors obscuring the view from your seat.

  9. Adambrau New Member

    At JFK we currently have 7 daily flights to Paris. Flights 023, 007 and 011 offer La Premiere cabins. Flight 15 and 17 are usually an A350, Flight 019 to Orly is a 772, and Flight 009 is either a 772 or 789. Love the new J cabins and, combined with a superior soft product, AF is poised to keep its dominant premium NYC-PAR position.

  10. Nico Guest

    Again and again this bag Premium class. I don't understand this choice of this cabin. This is an aconomy seat with little bit more space but loose many square meter in the plane. Can have more total seats with less Premium. 48 is too much.

    1. reddargon Diamond

      Considering these seats are consistently fully booked the Paris-JFK flights, it's definitely not too many. Just flew RT last week and there wasn't a single empty seat on either flight.

  11. Endre Guest

    Maybe someone should email Carsten Spohr the link to this article.

    I wonder how well white interior parts and components will age.

  12. Morgan Gold

    (not that I’m thinking of a particular other European airLHine when making that statement). - ahahah that gold!

  13. TOM Guest

    What we really need is a biz seat with a door AND a roof, ultimate privacy!!!!

  14. Steven E Guest

    Whilst in appears fresh and clean all the seats are positioned next to the aisle for window seats and again door cubbys? it’s not very cutting edge just more of the same - QR started it, ( years ago )maybe they will introduce something amazing soon and it will once again set the standard

  15. Jim Guest

    I think white cabins are hard to do well without it looking sterile/cheap (cc: Delta One, who has beautiful seats and then weird cabin finishes), will be interesting to see if AF pulls this off well.

  16. avi Guest

    Is this for the CDG route or the ORY one? (The ORY doesn't currently have first class so there'd be no revenue loss there...)

    1. Jim Guest

      CDG according to TPG, I think AF still runs really really dated planes on most of their ORY routes.

  17. Donna Diamond

    These look great! Can’t wait for your review!

  18. Alan Guest

    Great, let's slap a door on it! Honestly, I think either of AF's fully flat seats are totally fine as-is... would love to see the money invested in making the food even better!

    1. reddargon Diamond

      Agree, this is basically exactly the same seat with a door. Not sure this was necessary, although the larger screens will be nice.

  19. Clem Diamond

    Woah that definitely came out of nowhere! Not sure how I feel about the finishes, there are definitely some very nice touches like the seahorse and the carpet, but I feel like there's still a little too much white overall.

    The other REALLY exciting thing of course being the new PE seats. I would be perfectly happy in PE with these seats for the short TATL flights, but right now it's either business or...

    Woah that definitely came out of nowhere! Not sure how I feel about the finishes, there are definitely some very nice touches like the seahorse and the carpet, but I feel like there's still a little too much white overall.

    The other REALLY exciting thing of course being the new PE seats. I would be perfectly happy in PE with these seats for the short TATL flights, but right now it's either business or economy for me - I once declined a PE upgrade because the current ones are so atrocious and would rather fly coach.

    1. Clem Diamond

      I also wonder if the bulkhead will come at a slight premium or be reserved for elites, as it looks significantly more spacious on the pictures.

    2. TravelCat2 Member

      Yeah, the bulkhead seats look to have a huge amount of storage and/or guest seating.

    3. reddargon Diamond

      I agree with you that current PE is a disaster, and I tend to avoid it and either fly Y or J, depending on availability. But do these new PE seats actually recline, or are they still inside a shell? I can't tell from the photo, but if they don't actually recline then they aren't much of an improvement.

    4. reddargon Diamond

      Nevermind, I googled it and see that these aren't in a shell. This is great! Much better news than the business class seats, which are essentially the same thing that already exists with bigger screens and new aesthetic (and doors, which I find to be useless at best).

    5. Clem Diamond

      That's right, those new ones recline. Haven't had a chance to try them yet on the A350, but it surely can't be worse than the shell ones!

  20. InceptionCat Guest

    Can they please also reconfigure those leisure 777s with angled seats in a 2-3-3 config. I flew one 2wks ago from RUN-CDG an 11.5hr flight and that seat is awful. Yet business class was full.

    1. N515CR New Member

      The subfleet of 2-3-2 aircraft (42J in current config), aka NEV4, will be the ones getting this new seat

  21. Dick Bupkiss Guest

    Doors, schmoors. I really do not understand the weird door fetish.

    Now, how about something that's actually important to comfort and the ability to get some sleep: the foot cubby. Is the foot cubby a narrow, tight, triangle? (Kinda looks that way...).

    1. RetiredATLATC Gold

      Agreed. Foot cubby size in most J/F I've flown (TK, QR, AF, DL, KL, CP, BA, RJ...) have all sucked. To me anyway, it's hard to get any good sleep when my 6'3" frame and size 13's are contorted into a bretzel.

  22. RetiredATLATC Gold

    It's time for an airline to do something different. Doors are so 2017.

    1. Uwe Guest

      When doors are "so 2017", what are Lufthansa's current businessclass seats then??
      Sixties?

    2. RetiredATLATC Gold

      Late 50's at best.

      Stewardess, could you empty my ashtray please.

  23. CSR 2.0 Guest

    Wow, GORGEOUS, very exciting. I flew the current J product last summer and it was decent, but definitely felt a bit old. This looks incredible and a real step up.

  24. Jan Guest

    I think the bigger news is the new PE seats; I've never had a chance to sit on AF's current PE on 777 but I read mixed reviews on the fixed shell design.

    Aside from the door this looks close to what they curretly have, nice color scheme though.

  25. Not Lucky Guest

    So much better than the Super Diamond reverse herringbone because it doesn't have the tray table impeding your knees. Not as good as the Apex, but at least it's possible to sleep in the Cirrus reverse herringbone. Thank goodness AF stuck with that. SHame I don't fly AF !!

  26. Alex Conway Guest

    "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 airline when making that comment)."

    Hah! Love that. And yes, Skytrax are a total farce. But I hope this isn't the end for Air France First Class. Ben - I'd be keen to know, do you personally think that this could lead to a...

    "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 airline when making that comment)."

    Hah! Love that. And yes, Skytrax are a total farce. But I hope this isn't the end for Air France First Class. Ben - I'd be keen to know, do you personally think that this could lead to a cut in the number of total AF first class seats, in the same way as LH or BA? With AF having got rid of its A380s, it looks increasingly likely...

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Alex Conway -- I don't think Air France first class is going anywhere. Fewer than half of 777-300ERs currently feature first class, so my guess is that it's some of the other 777s being reconfigured.

      We actually have reason to believe that Air France will install first class on some upcoming A350s, so I think the airline is very much committed to maintaining first class. I do find it strange that the airline...

      @ Alex Conway -- I don't think Air France first class is going anywhere. Fewer than half of 777-300ERs currently feature first class, so my guess is that it's some of the other 777s being reconfigured.

      We actually have reason to believe that Air France will install first class on some upcoming A350s, so I think the airline is very much committed to maintaining first class. I do find it strange that the airline isn't installing first class on these new jets, since they'll otherwise be the most premium. So you'd think the markets where there's the most demand for the new business class would also be markets with first class demand.

    2. Bob Guest

      It must be the last 12 B777-300 who have the old "NEV4 Nouveaux Espaces de Voyage" number 4 iteration seats in Business (first iteration dated back almost 20 years ago.

      Those are usually for leisure routes such as Bangkok or Montreal...

      And any new updated aircraft goes almost always first to New-York.

    3. Adambrau New Member

      AF sells La Premiere out of JFK. It's not going away.

  27. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    Looks the end of Air France first-class, which nobody seems to actually fly save for some people on points or big-time French politicians. Now if only Air France would improve its business-class pillow and blanket.

    1. Henry Guest

      Note that French politicians do not fly AF First class. The government has 7 planes in VIP configurations, otherwise high-ranked civil servants are in business class, you need a special authorization for first class. The use of public money is closely monitored. AF first class is mostly for C-level executives and celebrities.

    2. Adambrau New Member

      You could not be more wrong!

  28. Alvin Guest

    "It’s always nice to see an airline only announce a new product shortly after it enters service, rather than years in advance"

    If quality and Skytrax rankings were directly proportional, Skytrax should give Air France at least eleven stars...

    1. Max Guest

      Skytrax Ranking is directly proportional on how much money the airlines spends on Skytrash‘s ‚consulting‘ services.

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JDS Guest

I don't understand this obsession with doors. I mean, if you need privacy on a plane that badly, what on earth are you doing in your seat?? And if you need privacy so much, then why do you fly commercial? Clearly, your only solution is to rent a private jet. Then you can have all the privacy you want.

3
TheBestBlackBrent Member

Doors, doors, doors, doors, doors. To be honest, these (reverse) herringbone configs with a door slapped on it are often actually a worse experience. It confines the seat and make the cabin feel cluttered. If the door is truly part of a suite design (SQ, QR, EK F) then it makes more sense, but otherwise I'd happily take a decent reverse herringbone set-up without these silly doors obscuring the view from your seat.

2
Dick Bupkiss Guest

Doors, schmoors. I really do not understand the weird door fetish. Now, how about something that's actually important to comfort and the ability to get some sleep: <B>the foot cubby.</B> Is the foot cubby a narrow, tight, triangle? (Kinda looks that way...).

2
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