In the late 1970s, Qantas Airlines righteously fabled it, “Business Class” and since then this class has seen numerous updates from Business Class seats to studios and suites.
The designs for the seats and studios are not just about fully flat beds and better in-flight entertainment anymore as air passenger carriers vie for the purse strings of the business passenger.
These 5 top airlines have completely revived their business class seats which will debut by end of this year or early 2015.
Business/First by Virgin Australia
The business/first class seat consists of a high shroud covering the 2 meter fully flat bed, which is 71 centimeters wide with retracted armrests. The seats are designed in a way that every passenger gets direct aisle access without having to step over the fellow passengers. The in-flight entertainment features a 45 centimeters wide screen with heaps of storage for tablets, books, reading glasses and other items that the passenger may need in close proximity.
Virgin Australia will bring its new business/first class seat forth between Perth and eastern capital cities for transcontinental routes in March 2015. Boeing 777 aircraft flying to Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi will also have these seats installed by end of the next year. The 777 will also have a new in-flight bar.
Qantas Business Suite
The base model for Qantas’ Business Suite includes the Vantage XL model from Thompson Aero Seating which has been further customized by Marc Newson.
The suite provides oodles of storage space for the passengers’ convenience in the console next to the seat. The ‘no slope’ beds can also be reclined while taking off and landing. The in-flight entertainment features Panasonic Avionics' eX3 system powered by Android along with backup media stored in disk drives behind the screen. The Business Suite of Qantas will debut on Australian transcontinental flights from December 2014, with flights to Asia to begin in January 2015.
Etihad Airways Business Studio
The Etihad Airways’ “Residence” on the Airbus A380 are incredible but for the business travelers, awaits the Business Studio seat. It serves as a multipurpose single space for eating, working, reposing and sleeping.
The 1.2 meters high studio seat is separated from the aisle by sliding panels which transform it into a private suite. Each passenger gets an access to a side table for keeping their tablet, laptop and books etc. The passengers can store items such as headphones, water bottles, books and Kindle etc. in a top-loading closet. Panasonic EX3 platform in-flight entertainment system is equipped with touch screen controllers which can also be used as a second screen.
The guests can also socialize with fellow passengers in the lounge area which has a marquetry coffee table, semi-circular leather sofa and a screen for live TV channels.
Etihad’s superjumbo will start operating Sydney - Abu Dhabi daily route effective June 2015 after the launch of London - Abu Dhabi flights in December 2014.
Singapore Airlines’ Next Generation Business Class
For Singapore Airlines, its 'Next Generation Business Class' aims to make each a vital part of the whole travel experience.
The Next Generation Business Class by Singapore Airlines intends to make your journey in the sky worth remembering. The 28 inches wide seat is more like a personal haven making you feel that you are the only passenger on the jet. The seats which are designed by James Park, Managing Director at JPA Design Studio are warm-hued with rich details.
Singapore Airlines has already equipped its Singapore and London flights with these seats, with a Boeing-777 Singapore-Australia route set to have these seat installed by the end of this year.
British Airways Sky Sofa
British Airways new concept for 'sky sofa' consists of an outstretched curved lounge sofa, with multiple cushions support. This concept will get rid of expensive reclining seats and their weight which merely guzzle more fuel. The sky borne lounge will let the passengers get comfortable in any position giving them a homely feeling. A fold-up section transforms the sofa into a flat bed by attaching it to the footrest ottoman.
British Airways is undergoing the process of design patenting, but has not announced any plans to launch it as yet.