American Airlines, the major American airline headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, has recently announced that the airlines will be utilizing a new design on its long haul business class cabin. The seats in the newly designed cabins will be built by B/E Aerospace, the Wellington, Florida-based company. These new seats will be equipped in the Airbus A350 as well as the Boeing 787 Dreamliners which American Airlines has on order. B/E Aerospace’s new seats will also be installed on a handful of retrofitted Boeing 777-200s.
“American’s new business cabin design follows closely in step with recent innovation in the global space. Each business class seat will recline into a fully flat position instead of the angled-lie flat design popular in the 1990s — a dated configuration still installed in many of American’s legacy international fleet,”
said Grant Martin from Forbes.
“In addition to better sleeping space, each seat in this so-called “Super Diamond” configuration will also have aisle access, improving on earlier generations with three or even four seats across in business class.”
American Airlines’ decision to collaborate with B/E Aerospace marks a significant change in design path strategy, as the airlines has recently been working with the French aerospace company, Zodiac Aerospace, on cabin design for new orders as well as equipment retrofits. However, due to several delays in product delivery, American Airlines has recently made the decision to end that relationship with Zodiac Aerospace in order to pursue a new cabin design partner. The airlines ultimately decided that B/E Aerospace would be the right fit, as the company commonly works with Emirates, British Airways, as well as Cathay Pacific.
“When passengers will be able to actually enjoy the new business class seats depends on when American gets its aircraft deliveries. Last year, American delayed the delivery of five of its 787 aircraft in order to “better match supply with passenger demand,” opting to receive four of its units in 2017 over 2016,” Martin added. “From this year through 2018, the airline expects to receive an additional 27 aircraft. Additionally, American expects to receive 22 Airbus A350s in 2017. 777-200 retrofits, on the other hand, are ongoing, though American hasn’t released details on when the cutover to the new B/E seats will begin.