Airline: Air France
Launched: First flight January 2023
Elements: Interior design • Technology • Comfort
Air France is enhancing its brand by moving its long-haul cabin concept upmarket.
Air France was determined to create a new travel experience for its guests, designing its latest cabin concept around the passenger and with the focus on all the latest technology and maximum sustainability.
The rethink for long haul cabins on the B777-300 ER was designed to provide a greater sense of privacy and new features in Business; bigger seats with 124- degree recline in Premium, and ergonomically-designed, reinforced seatbacks in Economy.
Customers in all cabins have been given access to Air France Connect the, carrier’s connectivity offer, with the option to send and receive messages and access information about flight connections for free. Two additional paid-for connectivity options are also available.
The Air France team worked with all stakeholders including experts in the customer experience, architecture and design, IFE and connectivity, engineering and production, operations and crew, working through multiple supplier workshops to find the best solutions. Whenever possible, Air France chose cabin materials that were lighter, natural or locally sourced.
The Business seats are cutting-edge reverse herringbone design with significantly more foot room than seen before. The embedded technology includes wireless charging and Bluetooth audio, and ambient lighting is synchronized to dim when the seat reclines. For passengers travelling together, the centre seats include a privacy panel that can be dropped to form a convivial space. First row seats have a huge space in front following an ‘open front rows’ concept. All of the company’s long-haul Business cabins will be equipped with seats that transform into full-flat beds by the end of 2023, compared to 90% today.
The Business seat was designed and assembled in France by Safran and features fabric woven in Germany (Bavaria) in a family business. Leather features use Carriat (supplied to the most famous luxury houses of France) made from bullskins raised in the Catalan Pyrenees.
The Premium seat was assembled by Recaro in Germany and features fabric supplied by Botany, a family-owned company, and long-time partner of Air France. Previously this company has worked on prestigious luxury projects to renovate the seats and interiors of the British Pullman train, the British cousin of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and part of the Belmond brand within the luxury goods, LVMH group.
In Economy the new experience, refined and evolved the established cabin harmonies and systematically questioned every detail, every seam, to push up the quality of the final product. Light and durable materials were used for the headrest and cover which was decorated with embroidered detailing in red thread.
In the Business cabin (48 seats), the airline’s iconic redesigned seat features more enveloping curves and extra comfort. This seat’s design is based on the 3- Fs concept – Full Flat, Full Access and Full Privacy. This means the seat transforms into a real bed almost two-metres long; provides all passengers direct access to the aisle; and ensures optimal privacy. A new sliding door allows passengers to create a totally private space, out of sight from the other passengers in the cabin.
In the Premium cabin (48 seats), Air France has introduced its latest recliner-type seat model (already available on its Airbus A350) while further improving comfort and offering 96cm leg-room. The seatback reclines to 124 degrees and has been widened to provide greater privacy.
In the Economy cabin (273 seats), the seats were chosen to meet the highest standards of comfort on the market. Each has a wide 43cm seat pan, a 119-degree recline and 79cm of leg-room. The backrest is ergonomically designed to offer reinforced lateral support.
As customers board the aircraft, they are greeted by a back-lit winged seahorse, embodying the company’s founding myth and rich history. The seats’ padding adds a sense of softness and makes the cabin feel cosy. Wool, brushed aluminium, full-grain French leather were used to give a soft and natural finish set off by the embroidered detail of the company’s trademark red accent.
By the end of 2023, the entire fleet will be equipped with inflight wifi compared to 97% today.
In Business, the seats feature a wide 17.3-inch 4K high-definition anti-glare screen with a noise-reducing headset, a new Bluetooth connection so passengers to use their own headphones, a wireless phone charging pad, and several electric sockets.
In Premium Economy and Economy, the seats are equipped with a wide 13.3-inch 4K high-definition screen with the option of a Bluetooth connection, offering over 1,500 hours of on-demand entertainment.
In Premium, a new noise-reducing audio headset is integrated into the seat and is easy to use at any time during the flight. The seat also features USB A and C ports.
In Economy the backrest is equipped with a USB A port.
Will Air France win Cabin Concept of the Year 2023? Join us in Hamburg on June 6 2023 as we unveil winners at the Onboard Hospitality Awards ceremony at the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE).