This morning, Air France revealed the results of one billion euro investment in new cabins, livery, and service, as part of the carrier's effort to reassert its position as a leader in international air travel.
“We want to be back as one of the top three world class airlines by 2016,” said Alexandre de Juniac, Chairman and CEO of Air France-KLM.
The first of 44 Boeing 777 jets equipped with the improved interiors and world-class partnerships (think luxe Givenchy amenity kits in the first class suites; Eugeni Quittlet tableware for your gourmet snacks) departed Paris-Charles de Gualle yesterday, and landed at John F. Kennedy in time for the debut.
Standout items riff on recent trends and competitive products, including the new business class seats—curved for seclusion and arranged in a unique “3-F” configuration (full access, full privacy, and full flat). These so-called "cocoons" can be swapped out for standard coach seats during seasons when there is a drop in demand for business class accomodations.
Economy and Premium Economy are also giving passengers more room to breathe. Economy seats have an extra inch of space at knee height, while premium economy promises 40 percent more space. Both cabins will be outfitted with high-end entertainment systems and personal charging stations.
And, “because France is France,” said Chief Officer Bruno Matheu, “champagne for everybody.”
On the new long-haul fleet, first-class cabins will be progressively replaced with four private “suites.” Tucked behind a curtain and adjustable partition are La Première seats. They quickly transform into a 79-inch bed, as they unfold into the seating room ottoman. Personal wardrobes and decidedly homey details, such as the bedside lamp and casual throw blanket, give the space an unusual sense of warmth. All cabins will be replaced by Summer 2016.
Judge Air France’s new products for yourself at the France Is In The Air exhibit, open at 548 West 22nd Street in NYC until June 28. The museum-like exhibition also showcases fun, interactive spaces for learning about the carrier’s 72-year history—or experiencing a whimsical takeoff on the flagship route from Paris to New York City.
Melanie Lieberman is the Editorial Projects Assistant and a member of the Trip Doctor News Team. You can follow her on twitter at @LittleWordBites.