Leak: New Turkish Airlines “Crystal” Business Class

Leak: New Turkish Airlines “Crystal” Business Class

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Turkish Airlines is one of my favorite airline brands, and also offers one of the best business class experiences in the world. That’s despite the fact that Turkish doesn’t have a particularly good business class hard product, at least not with any consistency. Fortunately that’s expected to change next year, when we’ll see the first plane flying with new business class cabins.

While an official announcement is expected in the coming days, it looks like we now know what the Star Alliance carrier’s new business class product will be like.

Turkish Airlines plans new 777 & A350 business class

Turkish Airlines is expected to formally unveil its new business class at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg this week, so I imagine we’ll see an announcement shortly. The new product will be branded as “Crystal.” Here are the basics of what we officially know about the new product, per an interview that Executive Traveller had with the company’s chairman:

  • The new business class product will initially be retrofitted on all existing Boeing 777-300ERs; the airline has 33 of these aircraft in its fleet, and they’re an average of around nine years old, so they still have quite a bit of life left in them
  • Then the plan is also to install the new business class product on Airbus A350-1000s that are delivered as of 2026, as part of Turkish’s recent Airbus aircraft order
  • However, there are no firm plans to retrofit this product on existing Boeing 787-9s or Airbus A350-900s, as those planes already feature direct aisle access from all business class seats
Current Turkish Airlines Boeing 777 business class

The new seats are expected to be in a 1-2-1 configuration, with each seat featuring a sliding door, as well as modern tech. On the 777-300ERs, it’s expected that business class will have a total of 44 seats. For context, Turkish’s existing Boeing 777 business class consists of a total of 49 fully flat seats, spread across seven rows, in a 2-3-2 configuration.

Current Turkish Airlines Boeing 777 business class

Turkish Airlines selects Safran Unity product?

Twitter/X user @iTripReport shares some photos from the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, which seems to show Turkish Airlines’ new business class seat, ahead of the official reveal.

It’s pretty clear that this is Turkish Airlines’ new business class product. While I could be mistaken, this looks to me a whole lot like the new Safran Unity seat, which is proving to be a popular “next generation” business class seat. You’ll find this staggered product on Japan Airlines’ new Airbus A350-1000s. This is also the product that Qantas will offer on its Arbus A350-1000s, and that Air India will use as its new business class.

Safran Unity on the Japan Airlines A350
Safran Unity on the Japan Airlines A350

Currently the product that’s most similar to this at Turkish Airlines is the carrier’s A350-900 business class, for jets that were initially intended for Aeroflot. These feature business class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration with doors and good tech. That’s the Collins Aerospace Horizon seat, which is also an excellent product.

Current Turkish Airlines Airbus A350 business class

What’s odd with Turkish Airlines choosing the Safran Unity product is that it contradicts what the company’s chairman previously said. It was insisted that the new product was being developed in-house by the Turkish Cabin Interior team, and that the airline wouldn’t use a generic product.

So I’d say that Turkish Airlines was almost certainly stretching the truth there. Sure, every airline puts some of its own finishes in cabins, but it seems like this will end up just being a generic product (though a very good one).

It’s also possible that Turkish Airlines tried to develop its seat, realized it would be too much of a pain, and then just went with a generic option.

Bottom line

Turkish Airlines plans to introduce a new Boeing 777 and Airbus A350 business class product. This will carry “Crystal” branding, and will be retrofitted on 777s as of 2025, and will be installed on newly delivered A350s as of 2026.

The new product will be in a 1-2-1 configuration, with direct aisle access and privacy at each seat. This should really take the Turkish business class experience to the next level.

While the airline hasn’t formally announced this, it sure looks like Turkish Airlines has selected the Safran Unity product for its new business class, which is probably the most impressive new “generic” business class seat out there.

What do you make of Turkish Airlines’ new business class plans?

Conversations (27)
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  1. iamhere Guest

    2-3-2 in business.......

  2. Ric Guest

    I agree about the 777 2-3-2. Although an aged product, the space was incredible - especially if you hate the smaller footwells on the 787, A350 aircraft. But it was old school. There is something to be said about lol aisle access and privacy!

    Anyone know if SAN is in TK’s future plans??

    1. Matt Guest

      Next US destination for TK is going to be Orlando. I wonder why they don’t fly to Philadelphia.

  3. SAS Guest

    The products look incredible !

  4. ZEPHYR Guest

    Sorry to say,

    This doesn't look like Safran Unity to me.
    It looks more closely to the Aeroflot A350 Turkish has.

    I believe those seats are Collins Aerospace "horizon primer suites"

    1. ZEPHYR Guest

      Collins Aerospace initially developed this seat for exclusive use by Aeroflot, (just like they did with the Qsuite)
      With Sanctions in now, and 2 different carriers operating the seat.

      I did be curious to find out if they backtracked on the "exclusivity", or maybe Aeroflot was willing to sell/lease Turkish the rights since they already operate some of their A350

  5. AOH Guest

    While the concerns re the 2-3-2 configuration are valid, I really enjoyed the space when flying Turkish business 777 from/to the US. There's so much leg room and you don't feel confined or cramped like you do with other products. Also, each time I flew business, I'd ask very nicely at the counter if there are empty seats in the business cabin and if I can be moved to an empty row (or at least...

    While the concerns re the 2-3-2 configuration are valid, I really enjoyed the space when flying Turkish business 777 from/to the US. There's so much leg room and you don't feel confined or cramped like you do with other products. Also, each time I flew business, I'd ask very nicely at the counter if there are empty seats in the business cabin and if I can be moved to an empty row (or at least have one seat empty next to me). It worked every single time but once when flying from IAH to IST, where the cabin was entirely full. That time I was seated next to a chatty Indian gentleman. On most other occasions, I ended up with the entire 3 seat row to myself. So I'm in the minority of those who will the current Turkish 777 business class.

    1. AOH Guest

      edit: "who will miss the current TK 777 business class"

    2. GSHLGB Member

      Possibly "Ben" now that he's traveling long haul with the kiddo.

      It was a win for us when I traveled with 5 and 12 year olds.

      Kept us out of PE

    3. Baliken Guest

      I agree with you. Lot’s of space. Comfy.

    4. BookLvr Diamond

      I also love the current 777 configuration. The main thing I want to do on an overnight flight is sleep, and as a stomach sleeper, it is a lot easier to roll over with a wide open leg space than with feet in a footwell.

      Hopefully it will at least be a big footwell.

      Just flew Turkish last week and it was such a great trip!

  6. anvill Guest

    It could just very well be a custom seat, but since staggered seats like this just all look so similar it is just very hard to differentiate from each other

  7. Yoloswag420 Guest

    This is pretty important. I've been turned off by TK's 777s and chosen to fly other carriers at a higher cost because the TK product is so bad.

    This will push them past Emirates for a lot of connecting business class traffic.

  8. Manny Guest

    Turkish is totally avoidable in J.

    Nowadays, the food they serve used to be served in Y in pre-pandemic times. Add to that the 2-3-2 config in J and horrible support and a very hard to use online platform, its an airline to avoid.

  9. Peter Guest

    Never underestimate the capacity an executive to misunderstand what a subordinate team is doing and confidently announce the wrong thing.

    As a corporate drone, a scenario where the chairman was told that his team was "customizing" their new seat, barely understood what it meant, and went out and bragged that they were designing the new seat entirely in house seems imminently plausible!

    1. ZEPHYR Guest

      They backtracked on that long ago.

      The plan was to design something good that can still maintain the same 49 seats on the B777 with the current business class footprint.
      It was to be 2-3-2 but with direct aisle access, it might have looked unachievable to them.

      Now current plan is to customise an existing/develop a new seat with a manufacturer, total seat count will now go down from 49 to 44

  10. Ryan Guest

    Until TK can offer proper customer service and support, they are a total no-go in my opinion regardless of their hard product. Product doesn’t matter when the IT and customer service infrastructure is so bad.

    1. virtu333 New Member

      My experience with Turkish has made me appreciate any airline with the bare minimum of competent customer service and support.

  11. scio nescio Guest

    I still heavily disagree with the TK having one of the best business class products!

    That may be the case on some modern aircraft. However on 10 out of 10 flights with TK in the last 2 years in mostly A330 and some A321 I had the old recliner seats, which can not be turned into a flat bed. And those seats are really bad !!! And are the reason I avoid TK - even...

    I still heavily disagree with the TK having one of the best business class products!

    That may be the case on some modern aircraft. However on 10 out of 10 flights with TK in the last 2 years in mostly A330 and some A321 I had the old recliner seats, which can not be turned into a flat bed. And those seats are really bad !!! And are the reason I avoid TK - even though they would have the best and shortest connection on my regular route from Middle East to Central Europe.

    1. Norm Guest

      The new seats don't recline but don't go fully flat at the head section either. Fine if you are used to sleeping on 2 pillows.

  12. Gerwanese Member

    It's time for the upgrade. I wouldn't book any airline anymore where I risk ending up in something worse than 1-2-1.

    I was a bit surprised to also read the news about China Airlines' A350 getting a retrofit, given that they're a few years old already but still pretty competitive.
    https://aircraft.airbus.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2024-05-china-airlines-selects-airbus-for-a350-cabin-retrofit

    1. Yoloswag420 Guest

      Would be interested in seeing a review of the new product.

      Starlux currently has the best product in Taiwan and most of East Asia, comparable to The Room and JAL's A350ks.

      Seems like there's pressure to improve the product with BR refreshing their 777s.

  13. AnishReddi Gold

    Ben, Etihad will also be getting A321LRs next year with 16 lie flat J seats, including 2 front row plus seats.
    https://www.aerotelegraph.com/en/for-now-the-777x-doesnt-play-any-role-in-our-five-year-plan

  14. TravelinWilly Diamond

    "It was insisted that the new product was being developed in-house by the Turkish Cabin Interior team, and that the airline wouldn’t use a generic product.

    So I’d say that Turkish Airlines was almost certainly stretching the truth there."

    Might what the chairman said have been true at the time he said it?

  15. Creditcrunch Diamond

    With airlines seemingly installing generic off the shelf seating options with some cosmetic changes and maybe some structural tweaking it begs the question why choose X or Y airline if the seat is the same. Airlines will really need to invest in the soft product and airport experience in order to differentiate themselves from each other in the coming years.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Having a superficial "door" somehow drives people mad to blindly worship the product.

      I guess the Tim Dunn syndrome made doors feel "premium".

    2. pstm91 Diamond

      You answered your own question, but you're also giving travelers too much credit. Frankly, it doesn't matter how they differentiate themselves. This group (OMAAT readers and the like) are a very small portion of travelers. 99% look at the price and the duration/nonstops when booking. I even just did that myself, booking J in Asiana even though I know it's not great but it's a flat bed and was literally 1/5 the price of anything else.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Ryan Guest

Until TK can offer proper customer service and support, they are a total no-go in my opinion regardless of their hard product. Product doesn’t matter when the IT and customer service infrastructure is so bad.

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Baliken Guest

I agree with you. Lot’s of space. Comfy.

1
AOH Guest

While the concerns re the 2-3-2 configuration are valid, I really enjoyed the space when flying Turkish business 777 from/to the US. There's so much leg room and you don't feel confined or cramped like you do with other products. Also, each time I flew business, I'd ask very nicely at the counter if there are empty seats in the business cabin and if I can be moved to an empty row (or at least have one seat empty next to me). It worked every single time but once when flying from IAH to IST, where the cabin was entirely full. That time I was seated next to a chatty Indian gentleman. On most other occasions, I ended up with the entire 3 seat row to myself. So I'm in the minority of those who will the current Turkish 777 business class.

1
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