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Thursday, 8 June 2023

Air France Unveils New Business Class Cabin for Future A350s

(08/06/23)  During the Aircraft Interiors Expo 2023 in Hamburg, Germany, Air France showcased a brand-new Business seat that can be transformed into a full-flat bed measuring nearly two metres in length.

A new sliding door allows passengers to create a totally enclosed space, out of sight from other passengers in the cabin, and the seats located in the middle are now equipped with a central panel that can be lowered to create a convivial space for those travelling together.

The seat, developed exclusively for Air France, will be available on the new Airbus A350s that will join Air Frances’ long-haul fleet between now and 2025.

In this new configuration, the A350s will feature new cabins across all travel classes – 48 Business seats, 32 Premium Economy seats and 212 Economy seats.

Air France's new A350 Business Class will be begin its rollout from July onwards. Click to enlarge.
Air France's new A350 Business Class will be begin its rollout from July onwards

In total, Air France has ordered 41 A350-900s, of which it has already received 20.

The 21st A350, named “Aix-en-Provence” will be the first to feature the new cabin configuration and will make its first commercial flight in July 2023.

The design of the 48 Business seats is based on the “three Fs” concept – Full Flat, meaning that the seat transforms into a real bed 53 cm wide and almost 2 metres long; Full Access, providing all passengers with direct access to the aisle; and Full Privacy, ensuring optimal seclusion.

As customers board the aircraft, they are greeted by a backlit signature winged seahorse, embodying the company’s origins and rich history. The cabin’s large windows are equipped with automatic window blinds, allowing passengers to adjust the lighting intensity during the trip.

Air France selected high-quality materials to create the seats, including wool, brushed aluminium and full-grain French leather. Each seat features soft padding for enhanced comfort and is embroidered with the company’s trademark red accent.

A personal storage unit comes equipped with a noise-cancelling headset, a vanity mirror and space for customers’ belongings. A second storage area has also been added at the foot of the seat with enough room to store a small travel accessory.

The Business cabin’s front row seats also offer extra space in front for additional comfort. Furthermore, each front row seat features a personal closet with a vanity mirror and extra storage space.

Each seat features a wide 20-inch 4K Ultra High-Definition anti-glare screen, the largest of any Business cabin across the entire Air France long-haul fleet, allowing passengers to enjoy over 1,500 hours of entertainment on a latest-generation graphic interface. Passengers can listen to the entertainment system through their personal headphones via Bluetooth.

A new touchpad screen also allows passengers to browse the various programmes and easily control their entire environment, from adjusting the position of their seat to adapting the lighting intensity. A “do not disturb” feature has been included on the screen to inform the crew that the customer wants to rest.

The seat also features USB-A and USB-C ports and a wireless induction charger.

A Wi-Fi connection is also available during the flight, a new feature that allows customers to connect their personal device directly to the screen and use it as a remote control. Passengers can browse the in-flight entertainment catalog and view the interactive map while their selected content is displayed on the main screen.

The unique seat was specially designed for Air France in collaboration with STELIA Aerospace (Airbus Atlantic’s commercial brand dedicated to cabin interior design), along with the designer Mark Collins (Design Investment, a company specialised in the world of high-end transport), and SGK Brandimage, a design and branding consultancy.

In all cabins, customers have access to Air France’s in-flight Wi-Fi with three types of passes available, one of which is completely free of charge, allowing customers to send and receive messages and consult information related to their flight and connections.

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