Air France has just announced two new Business Class product launches, both on the ground and in the skies, geared towards the leisure market. Launched in close proximity the airline has announced its latest Caribbean and Indian Ocean retrofit featuring an economy-heavy configuration with brand new Business Class cabin, paired with a new Paris Orly Business Class which serves passengers on mainly the carrier’s long-haul leisure routes.
A brand new business class
The retro-fitted 777 cabins will feature the same product as the airline’s A350 fleet, albeit in a much smaller cabin of just 14 seats in Business class making the aircraft one of the most densely populated 777-300ERs in the sky. In the pointy end, the Optima seating is the same arrangement of four seats per row in a 1 x 2 x 1 staggered configuration, with all customers gaining direct aisle access.
The alternating honeymoon seats in the centre will appeal to passengers on these leisure routes, however the airline only has two side-by-side centre pairs, so we expect this to be one aircraft where those centre pairs will get snapped up early.
For those travelling alone, there is plenty of privacy thanks to the staggered design and privacy screens, and for added peace of mind, customers can also turn on their “do not disturb” sign via the seat control.
At the seat, there is a storage compartment which plays home to noise-reducing headphones and a vanity mirror. There’s also a power socket, two USB ports, an 18.5-inch HD screen and an individually adjustable reading light plus mood lighting.
Behind business, there is also the same refurbed premium economy and economy cabins that feature in the rest of the fleet that have undergone refurbs over the past few years.
From January to December 2020, Air France will gradually install these new cabins on all its 10 Boeing 777-300s mainly dedicated to this network, thanks to an overall investment of 120 million euros. In addition to Pointe-à-Pitre, Fort-de-France and Saint-Denis de la Réunion, these new cabins will be progressively available this year on routes to Mauritius, Havana, Cancun, Santo Domingo and Punta Cana.
An exciting new Orly Lounge
On the ground in Air France’s secondary Paris airport, Orly, the carrier has invested in a brand new lounge. Tomorrow will see Air France invite its Business customers and Flying Blue Elite Plus members to enjoy the new lounge at Paris-Orly airport’s Terminal 3.
This lounge design mixes both the premium lounges found in CDG, and the regional lounges across their network to create a contemporary space, featuring screen wall panelling that features the company’s symbolic accent. In a bid too distance itself from its more clinical previous generation lounges, it has injected new softer, warmer materials including walnut, ash and solid oak, much like the aesthetic in the airline’s Washington Dulles lounge.
This lounge is open daily from 7am to 9pm and has seating for 120. It features a welcoming relaxation area, numerous alcoves, and also features a more subdued, private area, reserved for the airlines most prestigious customers.
However, the signature piece to the lounge is the stylish self-serve champagne bar offering a variety of renowned French signature brands all year round. But it’s not just champagne, there’s also a wine bar, designed like a wine cellar. All the wines and Champagne are, as on board Air France flights, carefully selected by Paolo Basso, world’s best sommelier in 2013.
Being the starting point to most people’s holidays, there’s also a rum bar trolley offering a sample taster of the destinations served on departure from Paris-Orly – Martinique, Guadeloupe, Cayenne and Reunion.
There’s also a quiet room, equipped with loungers guarantees customers optimum rest in a private setting, and for those wanting to freshen up before their flight, shower cubicles are on offer. But if business is your bag, the co-working space is ideal for working alone or with others, and is equipped with smartphone-compatible wireless charging systems.
The Big Picture