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Russian-based Aeroflot may not have the best premium-class product now, but that might change when it launches its Airbus A350 next year. The new plane debuts on two US routes starting in early 2020.
Although Aeroflot has been mum on the launch, aviation expert and TPG contributor Jason Rabinowitz spotted that the airline has now filed its first flights with the new aircraft type. These plans reveal that Aeroflot currently plans its first Airbus A350-900 revenue flight for March 29, 2020 from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport (SVO) to New York’s Kennedy (JFK).
These plans should be taken with a grain of salt though. Aeroflot was one of the first airlines to order the Airbus A350 way back in 2007, but the Russian airline has deferred orders of this aircraft multiple times since that original order. The first A350 deliveries to Aeroflot are now scheduled for 2020.
That said, a quick glance at the seat map for these flights reveals an unannounced, but notable improvement in Aeroflot’s business-class product. Rather than the 2-2-2 arrangement in Aeroflot’s current business class, the new aircraft will have a 1-2-1 arrangement. That means that all business-class passengers will have direct aisle access.
There’s no confirmation on which seat Aeroflot is using for the new aircraft. However, FlightGlobal found a request for consulting services that Aeroflot sent out in December 2018 indicating that B/E Aerospace was the seat manufacturer. That would indicate that Aeroflot is most likely using the B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seat, which many airlines are turning to for a business class product.
You can currently find this business class seat on:
- Air Canada Boeing 787-9 and 787-8 Dreamliner
- American Airlines’s Boeing 787-9 and some versions of its Boeing 777-200
- Royal Air Maroc Boeing 787-9
- Virgin Australia 777-300ER
The seat map also reveals that Aeroflot’s Airbus A350-900 will be arranged 2-4-2 in premium economy and 3-3-3 in economy. Both of those are the most typical arrangements for these cabins — although a couple of airlines have squeezed 10 seats wide in economy, and Airbus is pushing this option to more airlines.
After running its A350 aircraft on the inaugural route to JFK, Aeroflot is currently scheduled to launch the aircraft on the following routes:
- May 1: Moscow — Beijing (PEK)
- June 1: Moscow — Seoul (ICN)
- June 2: Moscow — Miami (MIA)
Featured image of an Aeroflot Boeing 777 by Alberto Riva / The Points Guy
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