Air France unveiled new cabins for its Boeing 777 that offer improvements for passengers across classes, including better entertainment and more legroom.
In total, 44 Boeing 777 planes will get almost 10,000 Economy seats, more than 1,100 Premium Economy seats and 2,102 new Business class seats.
Economy’s new thinner and lighter seats give fliers an extra inch of legroom, while reducing up to 1,000 pounds on each plane -- saving the carrier on fuel costs. Each seat comes with a nine-inch personal flat-screen TV and an electrical socket for charging personal devices.
The Premium Economy seats have hard shells, 12-inch screens and footrests, as well as 40 percent more space than the economy seats.
The Business Class seats have full-flat beds, privacy screens and are in a 1-2-1 configuration giving each passenger access to the aisle. Entertainment options include 16-inch screens and Bose noise-canceling headphones.
The new La Première suite, which was unveiled in May, features 94-inch lie-flat beds, a 24-inch entertainment screen, a personal closet and a menu that includes champagne brunch and caviar. To stay competitive, LaCompagnie’s fares will fall roughly 30 percent to 50 percent below current business-class seats on the Paris-to-New York route.
The cabin overhauls come as competition among carriers stiffens, especially for business and first class customers. Etihad recently announced its luxury bed-and-bathroom residence suite onboard its Airbus A380 service in December, and even the egalitarian JetBlue recently debuted its first-ever business class Mint service, which includes 16 lie-flat seats on some of its transcontinental flights.
Air France says its attempt to keep pace with aviation competition is part of its obligation to customers after losing ground to British Airways, which pioneered flat beds, and high-end offerings from Gulf and Asian carriers.
After retrofitting the 777s, Air France will begin retrofitting Airbus A380s and A330s. By the summer of 2017, Air France will have invested more than $1.36 billion in improving its in-flight products.