Qantas, Virgin, Air New Zealand prep new business class

Qantas, Virgin and Air New Zealand are preparing a new business class

As travel experiences a post-pandemic rebound, airlines are preparing for the boom times ahead.

From interior business class recliners to suites designed for the world’s longest flights, here are three seats that are sure to stand out.

Air New Zealand 787 Business Premier Luxury

We’ve known for some time that Air New Zealand is embarking on a the brand new business class of the Boeing 787 in his secret skunkworks “Hangar 96” in Auckland.

We suspected a drastic change from the current slanted sleeper pods circa 2005.

And Executive Traveler was the first to announce plans to top the business class cabin with four “business plus” suites in the front row, resulting in a more upscale “mini-first class” travel experience and probably more expensive – and a perfect fit for the Star Alliance member nonstop rides between Auckland and New YorkChicago and Houston.

This was confirmed on March 30 when the U.S. Department of Transportation accidentally published a set of documents filed by the carrier Kiwi.

Tier 1 of the Boeing 787-9s will include four oversized Business Premier Luxe suites with sliding privacy doors; behind these, a redesigned Business Premier cabin bristling with every modern comfort.

The airline’s filing with the DoT called for final approval “no later than April 29, 2022, so it can proceed with certification and installation.”

The big question now is whether the Business Premier Luxe and Business Premier seats will debut on Air New Zealand’s first Auckland-New York flight September 17.

Qantas A350 Sunrise Business Suites Project

Speaking of non-stop New York, we expect Qantas to soon lift the curtain on its Airbus A350 business class suites for its own marathon Project Sunrise flights.

Although the A350 Sydney-New York and Sydney-London will not take off until the end of 2025, Qantas has already presented A350 first class private suitesand a revelation of A350 Business Class Suites Is not far.

Early clues to Qantas’ A350 business class from diagrams shared by Qantas suggest we may only see seats adjacent to the aisle that have a sliding door.

Executive Traveler also understands that the A350 business class seats will not come from Thompson Aerospace, which supplied the first generation business suites for Qantas’ Airbus A330s, A380s and Boeing 787s – and it wouldn’t surprise us if Qantas rolls out a new seat concept which is yet to be officially launched.

(For what it’s worth, Qantas has also new domestic business class seats up his sleeve to the future Airbus A220 and A321XLRwhich will gradually replace its regional Boeing 717s and Boeing 737s from the end of 2023.)

Virgin Australia 737 MAX Business Class

Virgin Australia also has new business class seats on the radar, and you may already seated in them.

As part of the countdown to the February 2023 arrival of its Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, Virgin has assessed new business and economy seats installed on two Boeing 737-800s that have been actively criss-crossing Virgin’s domestic network for the past six months.

Although these recliners are a more sensible evolution than a radical revolution, there is no doubting their enhanced comfort or sensitive features such as legrests and footrests, AC and USB sockets, an integrated holder for tablets and smartphones as well as a usefully spacious storage area.

“Our customers love them, and our crew love them too,” said Jayne Hrdlicka, CEO of Virgin Australia Group. Executive Travelerwhile not letting it slip away if – as we strongly expect – these seats pass the test and will find their way into the 737 MAX fleet.

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