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Air France operates a total of 15 Airbus A330 aircraft, and starting in January 2019, the two cabins that carry the most passengers will look vastly different than they do today. While airlines tend to make a big deal about spicing up their forward cabins (suites, anyone?), it’s refreshing to see investment pointed at the workhorse cabins as well.
These new cabins in economy and premium economy will add refreshed seating, colors and accoutrements. In fact, €150 million ($176.3 million) is being dedicated to the refurbishment, representing a “major step in [the airline’s] overall strategy to move upmarket,” according to Anne Rigail, EVP customer at Air France.
The economy seat is being refreshed to add more space between the armrests, reinforced ergonomic foam in the seat (and a 118-degree recline), 31 inches of legroom, a larger tray table and a wider 11.7-inch touchscreen. Passengers traveling in the economy cabin will also be treated to “a new bright red blanket” and “collectible night masks inspired by the company’s destinations.” There will also be an individual power plug and USB charging port and access to Wi-Fi throughout the flight.
One cabin up, premium economy passengers will enjoy a 130-degree seat recline in a fixed shell, 19 inches of seat width, 40 inches of seat pitch, adjustable lumbar support, additional storage space, a wider footrest and a 13.3-inch entertainment screen. Air France also claims that the “softer seat cushions and wider leather armrests have been redesigned.”
In addition to new seats and a new economy and premium economy color scheme, passengers will be welcomed with an oshibori (hot towel), “a complimentary glass of Champagne in a brand new glass,” and a meal served on tableware designed in collaboration with Eugeni Quitllet.
A “My Little Gourmandises” gourmet snack is available on a self-service basis on flights longer than 8.5 hours, and on flights lasting between 8.5 hours and 10.5 hours, the carrier will supply a “Bon Appétit” breakfast bag.
As of now, the only US city served directly on an Air France A330 is Chicago (to Paris), while other destinations include Cape Town, Lagos, Kinshasa, Luanda, Riyadh, New Delhi, Bangalore, and Wuhan.
Featured image of refreshed A330 Premium Economy cabin courtesy of Air France.
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