Unity Night scene bed

New Business & First Class Launches In 2024

So what are the new Business & First Class Launches in 2024? We are almost three weeks into the new year and I’d been busy with some post New Year travels already.
 
2024 is set to be a exciting year for new product debuts in the pointy end of the plane. These products remain pivotal to airlines revenues, with luxury leisure travel still to outpace business travellers by some margin. If you have any of these airlines booked you may well be in for a treat !
 

Cathay Pacific Aria Suite

There was expectation that Cathay would be introducing a brand new Business and First Class products for its upcoming 777X launch. It’s crazy to think those aircraft order were actually made 11 years ago! But with this delivery being pushed back repeatedly, Cathay has surprised us all by announcing this product release to be retrofitted to existing 777-300ER aircraft!!
 
Cathay still has a good product on these 777s &A350s but it does not want to be left behind with the Suites trend!
 
Some new features include:
  • Privacy doors
  • Wireless charging
  • Bigger 4K screens
  • Bluetooth audio sync up to your own headphone etc etc
The video shows up a glimpse of a build it draw space that slides open beneath the side console, which seems slick.. 
 
 
While many details still remain under wraps including the actual manufacturer, JPA Design is thought to be the partner behind this seat design.
 

Japan Airlines New Business

JALs Apex Suites are still one of my favourite business products but it is not resting on its laurels in any shape or form by revealing us a revitalized Business product..
 
JAL Safran Unity Business Class
JAL Safran Unity Business Class


JAL New Safran Business Seat
JAL New Safran Business Seat

Features of this Safran Unity product include:

  • Fully enclosed doors
  • Build in speakers within the seat headrest
  • 24 Inch 4K screens
  • Raised headrest feature in lie-flat mode
  • Personal Wardrobe
 
Built in sound system is certainly something new and innovative! There’s very few noise cancelling headphones that I actually find comfortable to wear for more than 3/4 hours at a time, they are tight and always manage to make your ears hurt so this could be a big game changer here.
 
How this works in the cabin environment and not disturb others however is yet to be seen.
 
Other perks like being able to raise said headrest while watching a movie.. I’m not sure how comfortable that is for your neck here. I’d much rather just raise the whole seat so it’s like 160 degrees instead while watching movies in bed
 
Finally you also have a personal wardrobe that is more akin to first class than business!
 
 
What I love about Japanese Airlines is they do not mess about and endlessly tease their customers with shiny new products, this product was only announced some way into 2023 and is now already flying on new A350s between Tokyo Hanada & New York JFk.

Japan Airlines New First Class

JAL New A350 First Class
JAL New A350 First Class. Source JAL
 
Unlike it’s business class offering JAL’s First Class product offering was in much need of a refresh and JAL has gone into a new space threshold here with the new First Class product offering 30% more personal space than the already spacious existing First Class seat.
This is made possible by moving from a 1-2-1 configuration to a 1-1-1 setup which may well be the new First Class benchmark now?
 
Features to be expected are:
 
  • Sofa like setup 
  • Can have separate seat and bed or double bed setup
  • Fully private closed doors
  • Built in speakers in the Suite
  • 43″ 4K home theatre experience
  • Mini bar & Service Call Feature
JAL A350 New First Class
JAL A350 New First Class

While there is nothing ground breaking here as both Singapore Airlines and Etihad A380s offer a separate full sized bed and seat, as a whole package it really takes JAL straight to the top of the First Class league. 

You can see the full details here

In terms of the substance, this is a huge upgrade from JALs current 777s, however, I do have to say I find the design visuals rather uninspiring. I feels rather generic, that could be on any airline or train sleeper Suite. Seems like a missed opportunity for JAL to create a unique look here. 

Nonetheless, this will no doubt be a big hit with First Class flyers in terms of comfort and top notch Japanese service!

Air India New Business

Air India New Business Class
Air India New Business Class. Source ET
 
With new ownership Air India is going through a whole new rebranding and is introducing a new products on retrofitted 777s.
 
The product is also based of Safran Unity seat, the same as JAL and Qantas Sunrise for 2025! 
 
From renders these look very elegant with a lamp and all the latest bells and whistles already stated for above products
 
What is more intriguing is how the service element will play out when the whole new rebranding is done? Will this really revive AI into a upscale/premium airline?  AI has not been an airline I’d consider flying just on the basis of friends and family experience reports of their subpar product and service until now. I am now fully intrigued about the airline!
 
As of this week, Air India is now flying this product domestically before launch onto long haul routes in a few weeks!

Air India New First Class

Air India New First Class Source ET
Air India New First Class Source ET
 
Yep that Air India revamp did not end with a new Business Class. They also have a brand new first class coming with with those retrofitted 777’s and future A350s. It comes in the form of well, the same Safran seat used for Business Class !
 
What is different however is the configuration of it, so that each passenger will still have more space/pitch and with just 1 row of 4 First Class seats, a much more intimate cabin. 
 
Air India would not be the first carrier to do this with Korean Air having done this for years. The justification might seem a little bizarre, however the presumption must be that there are enough local customers that demand a “First Class” seat, if not for flying the best First Class but rather a First Class.
 
 

American New Flagship Business

I was left pleasantly surprised with my recent American Flagship Business product and delighted to discover it could get even better with a launch of a brand new Flagship Business Suite.

American Flagship Business Suite 787
American Flagship Business Suite 787

This is based off Adient Aerospace product used by some Qatar 787s I’ve reviewed here.

Features include:

  • Privacy Doors
  • Personal Lamp
  • Bigger 4K Screen
  • Possibility of Buddy dining in some seats

This product will be available for new 787-9 and A321 deliveries this year !

Overall Thoughts

2024 should be an exciting year for potential for experiencing new products. These are just some of the New Business & First Class Launches In 2024.
 
There are several others, that I have omitted, notably Air France’s New First Class which has been delayed and the now infamously hilarious situation with Lufthansa’s Allegris, would this finally be the year the product exists or will this be another paper product Lufthansa just markets?
 
My 2024 travels are pretty much booked up and as of this moment, bar any additional trips I manage to fit in, I do not plan to be flying any of these products. Unless, British Airways cancel on me last minute, perhaps an opportunity presents to be rebooked with Cathay Pacific or American flight.
 
I would consider booking a trip to India either from London or while I am already out in Asia if the product was available in the right routes and price range 🙂
 
Happy flying everyone!

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