Air France, taking a cue from Lufthansa, says their new business cabins will have seats capable of being swapped out for economy seats during the slower / more leisure driven travel periods like summer. Courtesy of Australian Business Traveller:
“We need to be flexible to maximize revenue,” said Air France-KLM Group Chief Executive Officer Alexandre de Juniac, who flew from Paris to New York last night on the inaugural flight featuring the new shell-style seats. “We wanted to be able to change the design quickly.” “In the summertime we have a drop in business class demand and we have more leisure demand. Until now we weren’t able to be flexible because the seats couldn’t be changed quickly.”
Of the 40 flat-bed business seats being installed on the 777s, 24 will be able to be stripped out to accommodate 60 coach-class passengers, a net gain of 36 people per flight. Business cabins in 44 777s (about 40 percent of the long-haul fleet) will have the new seats by summer 2016. Each seat will cost $72,000, or almost double that including in-flight-entertainment systems. The business seats, which can be removed overnight by maintenance crews, will be arranged in a four-abreast 1-2-1 layout so that no passenger has to pass another to get get out, compared with the current seven-abreast 2-3-2 offering.
Bloomberg reports that
Based on the Cirrus model from Zodiac Aerospace (ZC) SA also used in Delta Air Lines Ltd., American Airlines and Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. (293) jetliners, the seats were modified by U.K. designer Mark Collins to add more foot-room and fake leather instead of plastic. The chosen color-scheme is cream and gray, except for the red interior of a personal storage cupboard. Collins said the design aims to evoke a period in the 1950s and 1960s when French designers were experimenting with new industrial processes and Air France was seen as the ultimate in luxury. Lufthansa said it’s “version change” seat layout has been deployed across the long-haul fleet for a decade, though with the introduction of complicated entertainment systems berths are generally swapped around only for periods of several weeks or more, rather than as little as one day as in the past.
Business class not sweet enough for you? Check out – Air France Debuts New La Première Luxury Suite – Fresh High Def Pics