China Airlines A321 neo cabins

China Airlines receives A321neo with latest cabin enhancements

By Design, Featured, IFECNo Comments
China Airlines A321 neo cabins

China Airlines has received delivery of its first A321neo passenger aircraft, which will become the carrier’s mainstay on regional routes.

The A321neo with its spacious, comfortable cabin interior, emphasises contactless service and enhanced epidemic prevention measures. Upgrades include premium business class with fully flat seats, the latest in-flight entertainment system, as well as the largest displays, high-speed Wi-Fi connection, and free text messaging.

China Airlines’ A321neo is configured with 180 seats including 12 in premium business class and 168 in economy class. The cabin configuration itself has been fine-tuned to meet passenger requirements and support contactless service for epidemic prevention in the post-COVID-19 era. Fully flat premium business class seats developed for widebody passenger aircraft have also been introduced on a narrow body passenger aircraft for the first time. Each seat is now wider and equipped with adjustable extra-height partitions for privacy and reduced contact with neighbouring seats.

In a first for the domestic airline industry, smart link support has been introduced by China Airlines. All passengers can now connect to the in-flight entertainment system via their personal mobile phone and Bluetooth headphones. The lavatory include contactless, sensor-activated taps to reduce the risk of cross-infection. The added HEPA high-efficiency air filtration system also replaces the air inside the cabin every two to three minutes to ensure a clean and safe trip.

The China Airlines A321neo is equipped with the industry’s latest in-flight entertainment system that provides every passenger with personalised multimedia content in their seats. The 15.6-inch and 13.3-inch 4K high-resolution, extra-large displays in premium business and economy class include picture-in-picture multi-processing functionality while allowing passengers to access the flight map, catering and other services at the same time.

High-speed in-flight Wi-Fi service is also provided onboard the aircraft. Free text messaging is available for seven apps including Line, WeChat, Facebook Messenger, Apple iMessage, WhatsApp, Viber and Line2 for staying connected.

Passengers can pay via credit card or redeem in full with their membership miles to stream multimedia, web browsing or catch up on their favourite shows via their personal mobile devices while in-flight.

As part of a fleet renewal, Air France has taken delivery of its first Airbus A220-300, the company’s latest addition to its fleet on its short and medium-haul network.

Air France unwraps its first Airbus A220-300

By Design, FeaturedNo Comments
As part of a fleet renewal, Air France has taken delivery of its first Airbus A220-300, the company’s latest addition to its fleet on its short and medium-haul network.

As part of a fleet renewal, Air France has taken delivery of its first Airbus A220-300, the company’s latest addition to its fleet on its short and medium-haul network.

By 2025 Air France will have integrated the 60 A220-300s ordered in 2019 to gradually replace its Airbus A318s and A319s as well as several Airbus A320s.

“The arrival of a new aircraft is always a special occasion for an airline. All the Air France teams have spent over two years preparing for this moment and we are excited to see our customers discover the optimal comfort offered by this aircraft. The cabin is more spacious, brighter, and offers full Wi-Fi-connectivity, further contributing to the upmarket positioning of our offer,” said Anne Rigail, CEO of Air France.

The Air France Airbus A220-300 has 148 seats, in a 3-2 seat configuration (5 seats across) offering 80% of customers a window or aisle seat. It offers two travel cabins, Business and Economy, and access to Air France Connect, the airline’s in-flight Wi-Fi service, provided by Intelsat.

“We are honoured to partner with Air France and delight their passengers with a superior inflight connectivity experience on Airbus’ state-of-the-art A220 aircraft,” said John Wade, President, Commercial Aviation of Intelsat. “This award expands the total Intelsat fleet at Air France to 143 aircraft, including widebody B777s and A330s. Air France is the third airline partner to select Intelsat on the A220 airframe and our first 2Ku line-fit European airline partner.”

“Accessing the internet and being able to stay in touch with family and friends while traveling has become a must have for our customers,” said Fabien Pelous, Senior Vice President Customer Experience of Air France. “We are happy to partner with Intelsat to provide this service to our customers.”

The seat is the widest on the market (48 cm). It reclines to 118 degrees and has an adjustable headrest, leather upholstery and an ergonomic seat cushion for enhanced comfort. A wide solid tray table, cup holder, a pouch for storing magazines and books, individual USB A and C ports and tablet or smartphone holder integrated into the backrest complete the package.

The cabin, the most spacious and brightest in its category, is decorated in the Air France signature colours – shades of blue, a strong presence of white providing light and contrast, and a hint of red symbolise the airline’s ‘excellence and know-how’. The carpet revisits the traditional ornamental herringbone pattern, symbolising the emblematic Haussmann-inspired world of Parisian apartments.

Large panoramic windows provide natural light for the duration of the trip. From boarding to landing, specially-adapted cabin mood lighting settings create bright, dynamic lighting for the welcome and disembarkation phases and softer lighting for a more relaxed, serene atmosphere during the flight. The spacious baggage racks are easy to access. The central aisle is particularly wide, allowing customers to move about at ease.

Finally, as on the entire Air France fleet, the air in the cabin is renewed every three minutes thanks to a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air)-type filter air recycling system that eliminates 99.9% of particles and viruses.

Air Canada Rouge has lifted the lid of its seats (premium) and crew uniforms being introduced on nine A321s from this autumn

Air Canada Rouge resumes service with refreshed offerings

By Design, FeaturedNo Comments
Air Canada Rouge has lifted the lid of its seats (premium) and crew uniforms being introduced on nine A321s from this autumn

Air Canada Rouge, Air Canada’s leisure airline, has provided a glimpse of the cabin interior that will grace nine Airbus A321 aircraft from its 39-aircraft Rouge Fleet.

These nine aircraft feature a new contemporary interior design with Rouge brand accents and will be configured with leather seats offering a 30-inch seat pitch in the Economy cabin. The A321 Rouge aircraft also offer upgraded personal power options, including USB-C ports, and a convenient personal electronic device holder integrated into the seatback.

With the resumption of Air Canada Rouge service, which had been suspended since spring 2021, passengers can also enjoy recent product and design enhancements onboard all Rouge aircraft. This includes an upgraded streaming entertainment, providing passengers with complimentary access to tv and films via their own device or through a complimentary, sanitised iPad in Premium Rouge.

Rouge flight attendants will also be sporting a new uniform featuring many pieces of the award-winning Air Canada mainline uniform, accented with new neckwear and brevets to represent the Rouge brand.

All Air Canada Rouge flights are operated with narrow-body Airbus aircraft offering high-speed Wi-Fi (available for purchase) and a choice of Premium Rouge and Economy services. Customers travelling in the Premium Rouge cabin will be offered a complimentary bar and beverage service, and a complimentary meal on flights over two hours, or a snack on flights of shorter duration.

The first Airbus A321 aircraft to feature the improvements will enter service later this autumn.
“Air Canada Rouge remains integral to Air Canada’s overall strategy. As we emerge from the pandemic, we anticipate increased demand for vacation travel and from customers flying to enjoy overdue visits with family and friends. Air Canada’s leisure airline is ideally suited to serve this market with a compelling array of leisure destinations and an inviting travel experience so that the holidays begin as soon as customers board an Air Canada Rouge aircraft,” said Jon Turner, Vice President Inflight Services and President, Rouge Operations, at Air Canada.

Business class on Aeroflot's retrofitted cabin on its Boeing 777 aircraft.

Aeroflot unwraps first retrofitted Boeing 777

By Design, Featured, MRONo Comments
Business class on Aeroflot's retrofitted cabin on its Boeing 777 aircraft.

Aeroflot has unveiled its first long-range Boeing 777 aircraft with a retrofitted cabin. By end of 2021, Aeroflot will refurbish the cabin interior on two more aircraft.

The aircraft can accommodate 427 passengers: 28 Collins Aerospace Super Diamond NG seats equipped with sliding doors in business class, 24 seats in ‘Comfort’ class and 375 seats in economy class.

All seats come in high-quality jacquard upholstery. The seat pitch in economy class averages 80 cm, in ‘Comfort’ class – 96 cm. Business class passengers can enjoy individual suites, offering sliding doors, an extra armrest, 18.5-inch HD monitor and 2-metre full-flat bed.

Passengers travelling in all classes of service can access latest generation Panasonic Ex3 multimedia in-flight entertainment system. Paid for high-speed internet access (up to 30 Мb/sec) is available on board.

The airline will operate the retrofitted Boeing 777 on all popular international and domestic routes, including Dubai, New York, Los-Angeles, Mahe, Delhi, Yerevan, Bishkek, Baku, Tashkent, Khabarovsk, Vladivostok, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.

The cabin reconfiguration programme is being undertaken by Boeing who is performing engineering work and supplying component kits. Boeing was awarded the contract to modify passenger cabins on 18 of the Russian flagship carrier’s 777-300ERs, during the 2019 Moscow Air Show.

United Airlines is to purchase 270 new Boeing and Airbus aircraft - the largest combined order in the airline's history and the biggest by an individual carrier in the last decade

United makes major commitment with largest aircraft order in its history

By FeaturedNo Comments
United Airlines is to purchase 270 new Boeing and Airbus aircraft - the largest combined order in the airline's history and the biggest by an individual carrier in the last decade

United Airlines is to purchase 270 new Boeing and Airbus aircraft – the largest combined order in the airline’s history and the biggest by an individual carrier in the last decade. The ‘United Next’ plan will have a transformational effect on the customer experience and is expected to increase the total number of available seats per domestic departure by almost 30%.

When combined with the current order book, United expects to introduce more than 500 new, narrow-body aircraft: 40 in 2022, 138 in 2023 and as many as 350 in 2024 and beyond. That means in 2023 alone, United’s fleet will, on average, add about one new narrow-body aircraft every three days.

United’s new aircraft order – 50 737 MAX 8s, 150 737 MAX 10s and 70 A321neos – will come with a new signature interior that includes seat-back entertainment in every seat, larger overhead bins for every passenger’s carry-on bag and the industry’s fastest available in-flight Wi-Fi, as well as a bright look-and-feel with LED lighting. The airline expects to fly the first 737 MAX 8 with the signature interior this summer and to begin flying the 737 MAX 10 and the Airbus A321neo in early 2023.

In addition, United intends to upgrade 100% of its mainline, narrow-body fleet to these standards by 2025, a retrofit project that, when combined with the number of new aircraft joining the fleet, means United will deliver its state-of-the-art in-flight experience to tens of millions of customers at an unprecedented pace.

United expects it will have on average 53 premium seats per North American departure by 2026, an increase of about 75% over 2019, and more than any competitor in North America.

“Our United Next vision will revolutionise the experience of flying United as we accelerate our business to meet a resurgence in air travel,” said United CEO Scott Kirby. “By adding and upgrading this many aircraft so quickly with our new signature interiors, we’ll combine friendly, helpful service with the best experience in the sky, all across our premier global network.”

Adding these new 737 MAX and Airbus A321neo aircraft means United will replace older, smaller mainline jets and at least 200 single-class regional jets with larger aircraft, which the airline expects will lead to significant sustainability benefits compared to older planes: an expected 11% overall improvement in fuel efficiency and an expected 17-20% lower carbon emission per seat compared to older planes.

United’s new aircraft reflect a vastly improved customer experience standard – United’s signature interior – that places a premium on the overall comfort of flying – more overall available seats in the market, more premium seats on each aircraft, as well as better entertainment, overhead storage and technology features. These standards will be applied to the airline’s retrofit plan – a nose-to-tail transformation of its mainline, narrow-body fleet – that is expected to be 66% complete by 2023 and 99% complete by the summer of 2025.

United’s new narrow-body jets will help the airline increase its total seats per departure for North American flights by 30 seats, or almost 30%, by 2026. At the same time, the airline will quickly grow the number of United First and Economy Plus seats for customers seeking an elevated experience.

United’s 737 MAX 8 has 16 United First seats and 54 Economy Plus seats – more than double the number of extra leg room seats offered by competing airlines on similar-sized aircraft. The 737 MAX 10 – the largest member of the MAX family – makes up the majority of United’s new order and will include 20 United First seats and 64 Economy Plus seats and the new A321neo aircraft are expected to have a United First and Economy Plus seat count similar to that of the 737 MAX 10.

“We’ll deliver a better, more consistent experience, with more features for more customers, faster than ever. While some airlines are reducing the number of economy seats with extra leg room, United will offer the most premium seats in North America, taking a different, more customer-friendly approach,” said Andrew Nocella, United’s EVP and Chief Commercial Officer. “This is United playing to our strengths – the location of our US hubs means we’re uniquely positioned to focus on premium products, business travel and global flying like no other US airline. Our new, signature interior creates a more consistent product across our mainline fleet – with a focus on the amenities that customers value most like seat back screens, fast Wi-Fi and extra storage – to further set ourselves apart.”

United’s in-flight entertainment – 13-inch high-definition screens in every first class seat and 10-inch HD screens in every United Economy seat on the 737 MAX – includes free access to more than 2,800 selections including movies, TV shows and international selections, as well as audio playlists, podcasts, and games. Customers also can watch documentaries and live concerts through United’s exclusive collaboration with the Coda Collection. Plus, every seat on these aircraft has access to electrical power and USB charge ports and provides a seatback experience with accessibility features for people with hearing or visual disabilities.

Each new 737 MAX and A321neo will have the industry’s fastest available in-flight Wi-Fi that lets customers stream video from online services. The aircraft also will have Bluetooth technology throughout for easy connections between wireless headphones and the seatback entertainment screens.

United’s new, significantly larger overhead bins will provide space for one carry-on bag for every person onboard, addressing several of the biggest pain points among customers and employees. United expects that the availability of these larger bins will help alleviate gate crowding and anxiety, reduce the number of gate-checked bags and decrease the time it takes to board.

United’s A321neo aircraft will feature Airbus’ Airspace cabin design, which brings the following passenger-pleasing enhancements: unique welcome and customisable hero lighting (which helps reduce jet lag); new slimmer sidewall panels for extra personal space at shoulder level; better views through the windows with their redesigned bezels and completely integrated window shades; the latest full LED lighting technologies; the largest overhead bin in class; and new lavatories with hygienic touchless features and antimicrobial surfaces.

SWISS has unveiled its new Premium Economy Class,

SWISS reveals new Premium Economy Class

By Design, FeaturedNo Comments
SWISS has unveiled its new Premium Economy Class,

SWISS has unveiled its new Premium Economy Class, as it seeks to strengthen its premium positioning in the growing leisure travel segment.

Premium Economy Class supplements its existing Economy, Business and First classes of travel from the fourth quarter of this year. SWISS Premium Economy Class travellers will enjoy greater privacy and enhanced in-flight comfort, a major contributor to which will be the newly developed fixed-backshell seat. Premium Economy customers will also be offered a wide range of in-flight cuisine, along with double the Economy Class registered baggage allowance and priority boarding. The new Premium Economy Class cabin will gradually be installed aboard all 12 of SWISS’s long-haul Boeing 777-300ERs from the fourth quarter of this year. The entire SWISS Boeing 777-300ER fleet will feature the new Premium Economy Class cabin by the start of the 2022 summer schedules.

“We are delighted that, in introducing our new Premium Economy Class, we are meeting our customers’ growing demand for more privacy, more comfort and more individuality,” said SWISS CEO Dieter Vranckx.

Each SWISS Boeing 777-300ER will be equipped with 24 latest-generation Premium Economy Class seats from seat manufacturer ZIM. The seat is simple to recline and integrated into a fixed backshell to ensure zero intrusion into the personal space of the passenger behind. The new seat is wider than an Economy Class seat: between 46 and 48 cm, compared to 43.4. Seat pitch has been extended from the 78.7 cm of Economy Class to 99 cm, which translates into substantially more legroom. The new Premium Economy Class seat further features a greater recline and is additionally equipped with a fold-out leg rest. The seat’s covers have been produced by Lantal of Bern, Switzerland.

SWISS Premium Economy travellers will be issued with a complimentary amenity kit that is specifically manufactured using sustainable materials. They will also receive their own high-quality noise-reducing headphones to complement the seat’s 15.6-inch in-flight entertainment monitor. Personal reading lamps will provide suitable lighting on night-flight services; and electronic devices can be charged using the seat’s in-built USB-A socket.

SWISS Chief Commercial Officer Tamur Goudarzi Pour states: “Our new Premium Economy Class is tailor-made for our previous Economy Class customers who are looking to enhance their air travel experience and enjoy the benefits associated with higher travel classes. In international comparison terms, our SWISS Premium Economy Class is very clearly positioned as a top travel product.”

SWISS’s in-flight cuisine has also been specially tailored to the new class of travel. Premium Economy travellers will be offered an elderberry welcome drink, and will be able to choose from three hot meals all served on china tableware. The selection includes a dish from the award-winning ‘SWISS Taste of Switzerland’ in-flight culinary programme, together with a vegetarian option supplied by Hiltl. “Our Premium Economy guests will be able to choose their in-flight meal according to their personal wishes and tastes,” CCO Goudarzi Pour explained. “And we’ll also be able to count on our long-standing partnership with Hiltl for our vegetarian offerings, for which we’re seeing an ever-growing demand.”

SWISS Premium Economy customers will be able to download two publications from the extensive eJournals portal onto their digital device free of charge ahead of their flight.

The new SWISS Premium Economy Class can also be experienced live and full-size in a 3D augmented reality model.

Delta has announced plans to outfit its Boeing 767-300 aircraft with its Delta Premium Select experience.

Delta expands Premium Select

By Design, FeaturedNo Comments
Delta has announced plans to outfit its Boeing 767-300 aircraft with its Delta Premium Select experience.

Delta has announced plans to outfit its Boeing 767-300 aircraft with its Delta Premium Select experience.

Beginning this May and Airbus A330 fleet beginning mid-July, both fleet types will also receive additional upgrades like refreshed lavatories, new LED cabin lighting, expanded personal power outlets and memory-foam comfort cushions. Both aircraft will now have four cabin experiences to give customers more options whether booking for business or leisure: Delta One, Delta Premium Select, Delta Comfort+ and Main Cabin.

“As customers return to travel, we’re bringing them better and more comfortable experiences, and that includes introducing Delta Premium Select to more aircraft in our fleet,” said Byron Merritt, VP– Brand Experience Design. “We know customers are ready to get back into the world, and that is driving us to accelerate improvements to our aircraft that will give our customers the best onboard products.”

Delta Premium Select, an elevated Delta cabin experience available on select international routes, debuted in 2017 and features a wider seat, additional recline and an adjustable foot and leg rest on select widebody aircraft – offering customers more ways to cruise in comfort. Customers seated in Delta Premium Select also receive a TUMI amenity kit, noise-cancelling headsets and a blanket and pillow to help them arrive at their destination refreshed and relaxed.

Gulf Air 70th anniversary branded A321neoLR

Gulf Air receives new 70th anniversary edition Airbus A321neoLR

By Design, FeaturedNo Comments
Gulf Air 70th anniversary branded A321neoLR

Gulf Air has taken delivery of its new Airbus A321neoLR, designed with the special 70th anniversary Golden Falcon livery which showcases the airline’s iconic and vintage design from the last century with a revamped look.

The aircraft is the second of the 17 A321neo aircraft order which includes eight equipped with flat-bed seats.

The new aircraft premieres 16 new flat-bed Falcon Gold seats and 150 economy class seats. All seats are equipped with latest in-flight entertainment technology and in-seat comfort features that are practical and user-friendly for every passenger. The new aircraft will also be equipped with Wi-Fi.

Emirates has unveiled its new Premium Economy product on its latest A380

Emirates unveils Premium Economy

By Design, FeaturedNo Comments
Emirates has unveiled its new Premium Economy product on its latest A380

Emirates has unveiled a brand-new Premium Economy for its A380, as part of a wider product enhancement and refreshed look across all cabins onboard its newest A380 aircraft.

Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said: “The Emirates A380 is already one of the most sought-after travel experiences in the skies, and now we’ve made it even better. While others cut back, Emirates is working hard to restore the products and services that we’ve had to suspend or adjust due to pandemic precautions and introduce new offerings and enhancements. True to our fly better promise, Emirates continues to invest to offer our customers the best possible experience.”

Emirates’ remaining order of five A380s will be delivered with premium economy cabins over 2021 and 2022. Emirates’ premium economy seats will also be installed on some of its Boeing 777X aircraft which are only due to join the fleet in 2023. Emirates is considering plans to retrofit its existing A380 fleet.

The premium economy cabin, located at the front of the main deck, with three lavatories dedicated to customers offers 56 seats in a 2-4-2 cabin layout.

A customised seat design from Recaro, based on the PL3530, the seat offers a pitch of up to 40-inches, 19.5 inches wide, and reclines 8 inches. According to Recaro, its PL3530 design team prioritised state-of-the-art features like the ones found in upscale German cars and combined it with the spirit of Dubai. The seat features a bronze trim, a distinct finish, and a cream-coloured leather dress cover, complete with a one-of-a-kind anti-stain leather with stitching and a wood panel finishing similar to Business Class.

First deliveries of the seats began in Q4 2020, and at least 250 shipsets will ultimately be installed on Emirates’ fleet.

The seat’s ergonomics offers best of comfort with its recline and movable calf rest enabling a highly relaxed lazy position, additional storage compartments, and six-way adjustable headrest also contribute to passenger sleeping comfort.

Each seat has a 13.3” screen and easily accessible in-seat charging points, a wide dining table and side cocktail table.

Until more Premium Economy seats enter its inventory, the airline intends to offer these as spot upgrades for its valued customers on a discretionary basis.

The aircraft’s 14 First Class private suites have also been widened and taller doors, for even more privacy and comfort.

Cabin detail and finishes have also been refreshed with new motifs and colours, including modern fittings in the Shower Spa.

Emirates has retained its A380 Business Class seats which offer direct aisle access for every passenger, reclines to a fully-flat position, and offers personal mini bars, ample personal storage and a high degree of privacy.

All 76 seats have been refreshed to feature champagne-coloured leather covers and wood finishing, inspired by executive jets, similar to the Business Class on Emirates’ Boeing 777 Gamechanger aircraft.

The same classic colour scheme has also been applied to the Onboard Lounge at the back of the upper deck, for the exclusive use of First and Business Class passengers.

The airline has also replaced all 338 Economy seats onboard its newest A380 with ergonomically designed seats that come with full leather headrests and flexible side panels which can be adjusted vertically for optimum support. Each features a wood grain finish on tray tables, as well as a 13.3” personal screen.

Throughout the A380 interior, customers will see new finishes and design touches featuring the Ghaf (prosopis cineraria) tree motif, as well as the clean and airy champagne colour scheme with wood panelling and bronze accents from Emirates’ latest Boeing 777 Gamechanger interiors.

All cabin classes are equipped with the latest generation of Emirates’ ice in-flight entertainment system offering improved and superior image quality. Each in-seat screen will feature ultra-wide viewing angles, a capacitive touch screen, LED backlight and full HD display.

HeadZone by factorydesign

HeadZone heads towards commercial availability

By Design, FeaturedNo Comments
HeadZone by factorydesign

Factorydesign has partnered with Global Aviation to produce and distribute HeadZone, following ‘significant’ interest from airlines.

HeadZone is a passenger-focused solution, which can either be distributed by the airline as a complementary item or sold for revenue gain. Primarily designed for short-haul airline routes for seats without IFE, it allows any passenger to simply and immediately create this important space with a product made from recycled material, that is a simple to manufacture, portable and both user and environmentally friendly.

HeadZone has now been developed to fit a range of different short – and long-haul airline seating options including those with headrests.

HeadZone can be customised at the request of the customer and, being manufactured from cardboard, is fully recyclable.  Foldable and easy to package, HeadZone represents a reusable low-cost solution without the use of myriad plastics.

HeadZone is available in a range of different options which can be printed on all its surfaces to incorporate and support client branding.  This offers the opportunity for advertising and can provide an additional revenue stream for the airline.  Antibacterial coating can also be included at an additional cost.