Air France could introduce its first class product, “La Premiere,” on some of its Airbus A350s soon. News of the decision is still pretty sketchy and for now, at least, appears to be only aviation blog One Mile At A Time speculating about the possibility.
One Mile At A Time claims that they got wind of the news after reading a blog from the Air France flight attendant union. The article said that there was a recent meeting in which changes to the A350s configuration were discussed.
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It’s only speculation
In the One Mile At A Time article, they are keen to point out that it is merely speculation on its part and cannot answer the following questions:
- When will the A350s get first class?
- Will it only be future deliveries that will get first class?
- Will existing A350s get retrofitted?
- How many A350s will get first class?
Historically La Premiere was only offered on the following planes:
- All ten of Air Frances Airbus A380s each had nine first class seats
- 19 of Air Frances fleet of 43 Boeing 777-300ERs each have four first class seats
So in total, Air France had 166 first class seats. That number is now down to less than half following the retirement of its A380s. While this could leave you to speculate that the first class option could be done away with entirely, it is too early to say. We must assume that La Premiere makes sense for the French national flag carrier on specific lucrative routes. For this reason, it could be that the airline is considering it for the A350.
Air France has 38 A350s on order
Currently, Air France operates six Airbus A350s and has 38 on order with the European planemaker. I would guess that rather than reconfigure the planes they already have, it would be easier to fit out new aircraft with first class seats. As for the number of A350s that will have La Premiere, Air France would only need to fit out a portion of them.
As for how they will look, we can only go by the current offering in the Boeing 777-300ER, which has four seats with a curtain for privacy rather than a half door. Being French, though, Air France might want to unveil a new fashion house designed product that would appeal to people wealthy enough to fly La Premiere in the first place.
StarLux A350s will have first class
Taiwanese start-up StarLux Airlines plans to offer first class on its new Airbus A350s in a move designed to eclipse China Airlines and Eva Air, who have both phased out their first class option. According to Executive Traveller, the rumor is that Starlux will opt for four suites with enhanced privacy. Seeing as Air France already has four first class seats on its triple sevens, it seems like four could be the magic number.
While we are all still guessing what Air France will do with La Premiere, how many Air France Airbus A350s do you see having first class seats, and how many of these seats will each plane have? Please tell us what you think in the comments.
In the meantime, Simple Flying will reach out to Air France for comment.