Japan Airlines Co. bets that double beds in new first class suites will win passengers and prestige, seeking to challenge rival elite airlines in the global race to be the most luxurious carrier in the sky.
(Bloomberg) — Japan Airlines Co. bets that double beds in new first class suites will win passengers and prestige, seeking to challenge rival elite airlines in the global race to be the most luxurious carrier in the sky.
The Tokyo-based airline unveiled on Monday new seats from first to economy class for its future flagship long-haul Airbus SE A350-1000 jets, calculating that a premium-heavy configuration will help deliver greater profitability. First and business class account for a quarter of the seats but take up around 60% of the aircraft cabin.
The carrier is bucking the trend of cramming in more seats to meet growing demand for travel. The business cabin will get an increase in seats, though trimmed for first, maintaining the overall density to 239 passengers, slightly less overall than its equivalent Boeing Co. 777 jet in-service.
Read More: First Class Gets Even Fancier as Airlines Take Luxury Up a Level
The aircraft’s revamped, and more exclusive, first class features just six enclosed double-bed private suites — instead of the eight on the 777.
First class will come with three seating modes: sofa, seat & single bed, or double bed. The top-of-the-range suites come with ample storage, including a wardrobe, and a 43 inch TV screen. And it will be the first aircraft to have an in-built stereo in the headrest, doing away with headphones in its premium cabin.
Read More: Qatar Airways Plans for Future Without First Class on Long-Haul
JAL joins a slate of other international airlines pivoting to first and business suites, adding individual doors for the first time, boosting privacy.
JAL is seeking to reclaim some of the prestige from hometown rival ANA Holdings Inc., whose own first and business class suites unveiled before the pandemic raised the bar in luxury travel.
The Japanese airline has delayed the aircraft’s inaugural flight to New York, saying it will operate commercially “before” the end of the year, rather than by November, citing supply-chain disruptions affecting delivery of components.
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