The Aviation Eye

Air France Introduces new Business Class Cabin Product for Airbus A330

An Airbus A330-200 of Air France
(Courtesy of Air France-KLM)

Air France reveals out its travel cabins exclusive only for its Airbus A330-200s fleet, which has an average fleet-age of 16.1 years. The airline intends to fit the complete Airbus A330 fleet with newer lie-flat Business (36 Seats), Premium Economy (21 seats) and Economy (167 seats) cabins.

The first aircraft having the refurbished interiors is registered as F-GZCF, which flew its first flight as AF584. It is a triangle flight originating from Paris (CDG/LFPG), continuing its journey to Accra (ACC/DGAA) & Ouagadougou (OUA/DFFD) before returning back to Paris.
Until the end of the winter season, Air France announces that fliers will be able to enjoy these cabins on flights to Accra, Ouagadougou and Houston.
However from the 2019 summer season, the Airbus A330 with retrofitted cabins will also serve Cotonou, Lagos, Niamey, Bengaluru, Delhi, Seattle, Chicago and Dallas. As expected these are the routes which also are currently operated by Airbus A330 with older cabins.

Business Class

The Business Class seats are a massive upgrade for this type of aircraft in Air France fleet as they feature flat-beds. The older seats were angle-flat seats which would make travelers uncomfortable during longer stretch of flights. However the seating configuration remains the same as before with 6 seats in each row in 2-2-2 abreast that means a window-seat passenger will have to bump through another passenger if they want to move out of their seat. However, the new Business Class cabin product in Air France Boeing 777 fleet has direct-aisle access for all passengers with 1-2-1 configuration, which is a win-win case for passengers.

Graphic Rendering of New Business Class product (Courtesy of Air France-KLM)
Gray monochrome Business Class seats onboard Air France A330-200 features the airline’s iconic symbol. (Courtesy of Air France-KLM)
The new Business Class seats on-board retrofitted Air France Airbus A330-200s can go completely flat, unlike the older cabins which feature lie-flat seats.
(Courtesy of Air France-KLM)
Older Business Classs Cabin in AF A332s (By ArisTravels.com)

Premium Economy

Air France has mentioned their Premium Economy product has been designed as to give “relaxation and pleasure prevail”.

Graphic Rendering of New Premium Economy Product (Courtesy of Air France-KLM)

However there aren’t any significant changes in terms of offering except for new seat shell & seat design. The configuration remains the same with 7 seats each row in 2-3-2 abreast. The notable features of their Premium Economy Class Product as mentioned in their press release is as follows:

  • One of the widest seats on the market with 48.5 cm
  • 102 cm seat pitch
  • Lumbar support adapted to different body shapes
  • Additional storage space
  • Wider footrest
  • A 13.3 inch HD screen
The seat shells have been redesigned to give cabin a more modern look.
(Courtesy of Air France-KLM)

Other notable features include of this product is offering of two USB ports & a personal power outlet for each seat. Along with that comes a comfort kit which is renewed every six months. The Red Feather Pillow and Deep Blue Blanket is also available & has been standardized for Premium Economy Passengers.

The Red Feather Pillow and Deep Blue Blanket is exclusively available only for the Premium Economy Passengers. (Courtesy of Air France-KLM)
Old Premium Economy Class Cabin (Courtesy of Air France-KLM)

Economy Class

The seat layout in economy class remains in the same standard 2-4-2 abreast configuration, with 30 inch (79 cm) seat pitch. However what catches our eyes is the fresh color schemes used in it which gives out an aesthetic look for an Economy Class cabin.


 A deep blue monochrome fabric signed with the symbol of the Air France brand, adorns the new cabin cushions and headrests. A new bright red blanket, inspired by the company’s iconic color, as well as collectible night masks, inspired by the company’s destinations, are also available. (Courtesy of Air France-KLM)
Finally Air France does get rid of its mediocre IFE on-board the aircraft featuring older cabins. (Courtesy of Air France-KLM)

There are some significant design changes in the new Economy Class product to provide more comfort for fliers: –

  • More space between the armrests
  • Reinforced ergonomic foam in the seat and a 118° recline
  • 79 cm legroom (30 inch) – Average Legroom provided equivalent to its competitors.
  • A larger tray table
  • A wider, latest generation 11.6-inch 16:9 HD touch screen.

Conclusion

This is indeed another bold step taken by the airline after announcing that they will be dissolving Joon. A cabin refurbishment was highly needed for all the Air France aircraft which currently houses not-the-best cabin interiors when it comes to comparing it with it’s European and Middle-Eastern Competitors. The 777-200ER/-300ER Fleet Refurbishment is also under-process, which features new cabin & seats, but is different as compared to what the A330-200 will be getting. However, in the end it is amazing to look how Air France is preparing itself to compete with other airlines in upcoming days with better restructure plan, newer cabin retrofits, etc.

Sources: Air France-KLM Press Release, FlightRadar24, ArisTravels.com, SeatGuru.

Jenson Arunkumar

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