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TheDesignAir’s Top 10 Business Classes 2015

It has been a busy year for Business Class, with a staggering array of new products being launched as carriers fight for their most lucrative passenger base. Our list contains some surprises, with familiar names falling off and lesser-known carriers appearing. Generally speaking, the products scored lower this year, possibly because consumers’ expectations are rising. The judges looked, as always, at hard and soft product first— but the very highest…

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TRIP REPORT: Etihad A380 Business Class February 2015

Flight: EY12 Aircraft Type: A380 Class: Business “Studios”  Route: LHR-AUH Flight time: 6:40 Seat: 12E Date: Februrary 2015 http://www.etihad.com Best for: Savvy one-stop travellers who want one of the very best products in the skies The crowd: Mainly international travellers, less UAE based passengers than its rivals. Business or pleasure: Definitely both, however the creature comforts far outweigh the excellent connectivity found onboard. Routes: Etihad fly to…

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Trip Report: Air France 787-9 Business Class March 2017

Flight: AF1681 Aircraft Type: B787-9 Class: Business Class Route: LHR-CDG Date: March 2017 http://www.airfrance.com Air France started flying their 787-9 between CDG and LHR earlier this year, training staff on the aircraft before it commences its long haul duties. While only a short hop across the English Channel, it gives passengers a chance to experience the new product before committing…

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Trip Report: Thai Airways Royal Silk A380 Business Class June 2016

Flight: TG911 Aircraft Type: A380-800 Class: ‘Royal Silk’ Business Class Route: LHR-BKK Date: June 2016 http://www.thaiairways.com We were lucky enough to fly on Thai Airways almost twenty years ago, one of our first long haul flights as a kid, and since then, the airline has always stuck in our hearts. We remember orchid flowers being distributed to passengers and that…

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TRIP REPORT: Etihad Pearl Business Class July 2014

Flight: EY18 Aircraft Type: A330-300 Class: Business Class Route: LHR-AUH Date: July 2014 http://www.etihad.com Best for: International business class travellers looking for luxury with one-stop connections Most likely to sit next to: Local Abu Dhabi residents or über-cool marketing and media types. Business or pleasure: This is an airline all about pleasure, whilst the carrier offers wi-fi and large tables to work from and…

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TheDesignAir’s Top 10 Economy Classes 2015

We are pleased to announce our Top 10 economy classes for 2015. The last 18 months have changed the landscape for economy class travel, with passengers around the world benefiting from new aircraft, new products and increased inflight entertainment options. While there are some new entrants into our list this year, the competition was tougher than ever, due to an increasingly…

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TRIP REPORT: Etihad A380 First Class February 2015

Flight: EY11 Aircraft Type: A380 Class: First Class “Apartments”  Route: AUH-LHR Flight time: 7:25 Seat: 1H Date: Februrary 2015 http://www.etihad.com Best for: Anyone who can afford it. Suitable for those who have to travel a long way and value space, service and comfort above all else. The crowd: An almost-full cabin. With ultimate privacy, it was hard to say, but mainly top level executive travellers.…

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British Airways Are Keeping Us Guessing

In a new wave of patent submissions, British Airways are perhaps going back on their original herringbone concept that they submitted last year. The patent, filed last year but only recently published, shows off a wave of innovative seating arrangements. Whilst most of the patent references the seating configuration rather than the seats themselves, there are…

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And The World’s Largest Widebody Airline is…

…Emirates, perhaps no surprise there, but whilst all eyes have been on their competitors Qatar Airways and Etihad in 2014, Emirates has quietly grown itself to be one of the powerhouses of the international airline industry. Last year saw the airline receive no less than 27 aircraft, the equivalent of slightly more than one delivery a…

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Trip Report: TAP Portugal A330 Business Class November 2015

Flight: TP85 Aircraft Type: A330-200 Class: ‘Previous Generation’ Business Class Route: LHR-GRU Flight time: 9:50 Seat: 2F Date: October 2015 http://www.flytap.com Best for: Passengers flying between Europe and South America. A high proportion of passengers on short haul flights connect on to Long haul flights. The crowd: Trans-European base – with a few Brazilian fliers too. Mix of leisure fliers and business travellers. Business…

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Tetris War

So it isn’t often we think ourselves as that awkward L-shaped brick from classic computer game Tetris, but fundamentally that’s how aircraft seat designers see us. Unfortunately-shaped wedges that have to fit neatly into a rectangular shape. In a constant fight to give airline passengers more space, more comfort and a better quality experience, the…

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Finnair Light Up Our Lives With New A350 Cabin

Our friends at Finnair have just announced the new interiors for their A350 fleet which will come into service mid 2015. The A350, which has been in the shadow of their newer cousin, the A330 Neo as of late, now can sit proud about the product they can offer onboard, thanks in part due to Finnish ‘Designer’ airline…

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Trip Report: Cathay Pacific Business Class April 2015

Flight: CX250 Aircraft Type: B777-300ER Class: Business Class Route: LHR-HKG Flight time: 11:45 Seat: 16D Date: April 2015 http://www.cathaypacific.com Best for: Regular travellers connecting from Europe to Asia, with five flights a day, the airline offers a great variety of flight departure times with connections onto a variety of China and pan-Asian destinations. The crowd: Completely full, as always. Cathay manages to combine…

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