What KLM’s future business class tells us about the future of “front classes”

KLM has announced a new business class concept to renew the cabin of its Boeing 777s. Beyond the announcement, it is a basic trend that is asserting itself.

KLM’s current business class

Until the beginning of the 2010s, it could not be said that KLM’s business product was the stuff of dreams. Configuration in 2-3-2 and depending on the case a seat similar to the NEV 3 Air France of sinister memory or, worse, a recliner.

Since then, the Batavian company has started a move upmarket which was not the most complicated given the existing situation.

Thus the B747s found themselves equipped with this cabin, in a 2-2-2 configuration on the 777s: the seat is a B/E Aerospace Parallel Diamond .

Clear progress but still nothing to get excited about. To finally see the arrival of 1-2-1 configurations, we had to wait for the arrival of the B787-9 and their Zodiac Cirrus similar to that of Air France but less successful in our opinion.

As for the 787-10, JAMCO provides them with their business seat. It is true that at Air France-KLM the consistency of the cabins has never been a concern.

But as all jokes must come to an end, it’s time for the 777’s Parallel Diamond to bow out.

Which seat for KLM 777 business class?

To tell the truth, KLM has remained very evasive about its intentions….which in the end is better than Lufthansa, which won its 5th Skytrax star by showing photos in 2017 of a seat that has never been installed at this day .

All we know is that we will finally have a 1-2-1 configuration on the 777, a wider seat and, more interestingly… sliding doors . Equipment that has long been the prerogative of First Class.

Yes, but now, times are changing.

What future for the First?

We had already thought about the future of First 3 years ago and our opinion has been confirmed over time.

• Not all companies are intended to offer this type of product.

• But that doesn’t prevent others from moving their business upmarket.

We saw it with the Qatar Airways QSuite.

The Delta One Suite at Delta…

One Suite at Delta
Delta One suite. Source: Delta

And finally the British Airways Club Suite to name but a few.

British Airways Club Suite
British Airways Club Suite

KLM does indeed seem to be following this path: no super premium product like a First, but a general upscaling of the business product

In the future, we expect to see more and more companies follow this path and only see First on a few majors for whom this type of product makes sense.

But we have time: the product should not be unveiled for two years. At Air Frane-KLM time never seems to flow at the same speed as at the competition.

Bertrand Duperrin
Bertrand Duperrinhttp://www.duperrin.com
Compulsive traveler, present in the French #avgeek community since the late 2000s and passionate about (long) travel since his youth, Bertrand Duperrin co-founded Travel Guys with Olivier Delestre in March 2015.

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