During the Aircraft Interiors Expo 2023 in Hamburg (Germany), Air France offered an exclusive first look at its brand-new Business seat. Featuring the highest industry standards in terms in comfort and on-board technology, the seat features a sliding door that allows passengers to create a totally private space, and the seat transforms into a full-flat bed measuring nearly two metres in length. To create a greater sense of privacy for passengers travelling together, the seats located in the centre of the cabin are equipped with a central panel that can be lowered to create a convivial space and make the most of the flight together.
This seat, developed exclusively for Air France, will be available on the new Airbus A350s that will join the company’s long-haul fleet between now and 2025. In this new configuration, the Airbus A350 will feature new cabins across all travel classes – 48 Business seats, 32 Premium Economy seats and 212 Economy seats.
With this latest strategic development in its move upmarket, Air France is pursuing the roll-out of its most advanced travel standards to date in terms of in-flight comfort, building on what the company has already put in place on 12 Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft.
In total, Air France has ordered 41 Airbus A350-900s, which are being delivered at a constant pace. The company has already received 20 of these aircraft. The 21st A350, named “Aix-en-Provence” will be the first to feature this new cabin configuration and will make its first commercial flight in July 2023.
The design of the 48 spacious 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. A new sliding door allows passengers to create a totally enclosed space, out of sight from the other passengers in the cabin. To create a greater sense of privacy for passengers travelling together, the seats located in the middle of the cabin are now equipped with a central panel that can be lowered to create a convivial space in which to make the most of the flight together.
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 carefully selected high-quality, soft, and natural materials to create these 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.
This 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.
The best of on-board technology
Constantly evolving to offer the highest travel standards on the market, Air France has equipped its latest Business seat with the most cutting-edge technology. 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. Bluetooth connection allows passengers to enjoy the entertainment system through their personal headphones.
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 is included on the screen to inform the crew that the customer wants to rest.
This fully connected seat 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.
Optimum comfort in Premium Economy and Economy
The Premium Economy cabin features 32 seats designed alongside Collins Aerospace. Air France offers a brand-new recliner seat model already available on its first Airbus A350 and on the 12 Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft currently being refurbished. Each seat offers 94 cm of legroom and a 48 cm wide seat pan. The seat back reclines up to 121 degrees and has been widened to provide greater privacy and comfort. The seat cushions have been redesigned and now extend up to the shoulder level for an even softer experience. The seats are upholstered with a navy-blue herringbone pattern fabric featuring a refined finish. The 4-position headrest can be adjusted to suit all preferences. To complete the package, these seats also come with a noise-cancelling audio headset, plenty of storage space, an individual reading light and USB-A and USB-C ports.
The Economy cabin includes 212 seats developed in collaboration with Safran Seats. Each seat features a 46 cm wide seat pan, a 119 degree recline and 79 cm of legroom. The backrest is ergonomically designed with cushions offering reinforced lateral support. The seat introduces two new features: a personal smartphone or tablet holder integrated into the backrest and a USB-C port, in addition to the USB-A port.
The seats in these two cabins are equipped with a wide 13.3-inch 4K Ultra High-Definition anti-glare screen with Bluetooth connection, ideal for enjoying the on-demand in-flight entertainment with personal headphones. A new feature also allows customers to connect their personal devices directly to the in-seat screen and use it as a remote control, or to browse the available programmes while the selected content is simultaneously displayed on the main screen.
In all cabins, customers have access to the company’s in-flight Wi-Fi offer, Air France Connect. This service offers three types of passes, one of which is completely free of charge, allowing customers to send and receive messages and consult information related to their flight and connections.