Air France Unveils New Business-Class Cabin for Airbus A330s
Air France is introducing a refreshed business-class product with its Airbus A330s. The carrier is beginning to offer a 2-2-2 layout and brighter, airy cabin — though each seat will not have direct aisle access.
In all, the new A330 business-class cabin features 36 lie-flat seats. When in its lie-flat position, each of the seats offer 78.74 inches of length — about 6'5" — and 22.48 inches of width.
According to Air France, the cabin was designed to combine comfort and elegance. Its bright interior is a far step above the old seats installed on the A330, which were dark in color. While the color of the seat is changing from a dark blue to a light grey, it'll maintain a similar white headrest.
The new A330 seats offer supreme privacy for all passengers — even though it's in a less-than-ideal 2-2-2 configuration. This is because of the retractable privacy panel.
As far as inflight entertainment, passengers in Air France's new A330 business class can expect 18.5-inch touchscreen systems. The interface can be operated either by touch or a handset.
Additionally, the A330 will offer inflight Wi-Fi, with the opportunity to purchase one of three passes:
- Message pass — send and receive messages throughout the flight for free
- Surf pass — browse the internet, read and send emails from 3 euro to 18 euro (6,000 miles)
- Stream pass — high-speed internet, ability to stream and download files for 30 euro (10,000 miles).
Onboard Wi-Fi is also available on Air France's Boeing 787s, and it's being installed on Air France's Boeing 777 fleet. The airline says that the entire fleet will be equipped with Wi-Fi by the end of 2020.
While inflight, passengers can expect a self-service bar area. While not the extent of a full-size bar a business-class passenger could expect to find on Emirates' A380 or Virgin Atlantic's A340, the option to serve yourself to snacks or drinks while mid-flight is a nice addition.
Service wise, Air France is offering hot towels for passengers. Additionally, business and premium economy passengers can expect amenity kits that celebrate the airline's 85th anniversary, outfitted with Clarins beauty products.
Air France will fly the refreshed A330s to Houston (IAH) for the 2018-2019 winter season (until March 30, 2019). Then, for the 2019 summer season, the new product will fly to Seattle (SEA), Chicago (ORD) and Dallas (DFW) until Oct. 26, 2019. The aircraft will also fly to Delhi (DEL), Bengaluru (BLR), Cotonou (COO), Lagos (LOS) and Niamey (NIM) for the summer season as well as Ouagadougou (OUA) and Accra (ACC) for both winter and summer seasons.
As of time of publication, the route between Paris (CDG) and Houston (IAH) is not yet showing the new seat map on both ExpertFlyer and on Air France's website.
The 15 A330s in Air France's fleet will be fully retrofitted by 2020. In total, the refreshment comes following a 140 million euro investment.
Monday's announcement of the new business-class cabin interior follows a similar announcement in September 2018 in which Air France unveiled what the refreshed premium economy and economy cabins would look like on the A330s.
*Correction 8:30am ET: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the refreshed cabin is in a 1-2-1 configuration. It is, however, a 2-2-2 configuration.