IAG’s British Airways is just about to undergo a total makeover. Not only do they have new planes on order to replace their 747 fleet, but they are also taking the opportunity to elevate their first and business to the same level as those found on Middle Eastern airlines.
But BA has been tight-lipped about what this new long haul business class product will actually look like, releasing some detail shots earlier this week.
— British Airways (@British_Airways) March 16, 2019
Whilst not much to go on, some seating superfans online have tracked down what might be the next British Airways seat…
What is the new seat like?
The seat in question is made by Rockwell Collins. They are the same manufacturer of the very popular B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seat, found onboard WestJet’s new Dreamliner fleet, Virgin Australia’s ‘The Business’ and Air China’s new Airbus A350.
But British Airways has hinted that they are going in a different direction with their premium category design. From the photos they have posted, the new seat looks eerily similar to the conceptual ‘Waterfront Business Class Seat’ designed by Formulation Design for Rockwell Collins.
Here is what it looks like:
As we can see, the seat itself is a fully enclosed suite with a privacy screen. There is what appears to be a large table/space on the right side (by the window) and every seat would have aisle access. Naturally, the seat lies flat with the armrest moving downwards to make the seat wider (meaning no tray table, we will explain below).
This also seems to hint that the upcoming Club World class will be in a 1-2-1 configuration.
This last photo seems to show the sliding door panel and the entertainment screen. It has been confirmed to be a 24-inch Panasonic 4K display. Overall, the seat has been claimed to be 12% lighter than previous business class designs on the market, great for fuel savings.
“The Waterfront seat is designed for transformation. It seamlessly transitions between comfortable living, productive working, dining, entertainment, and sleeping.”
When the seat was featured at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany, several more unique features were showcased. Some of these include:
- A selfie camera. After the discovery of selfie cameras onboard Singapore planes, we are still very suspicious why such a feature is being included on aircraft. At least, in this case, you can access the camera for a quick photo.
- The ability to pair your smartphone to the screen and use it as a remote via Bluetooth. Not only does this allow you to control the display and the seat but to also resume content between flight legs. For example, if BA were to use this seat on their Kangaroo route of London to Sydney via Singapore, you would resume your content when reboarding.
- Hidden tray table. The tray table slides out from underneath the display, freeing up room in the hand rest and where you would normally place objects.
- Accent lights you can control from your phone. Change the screen lighting to soft green and the reading light to yellow.
- Wireless charging for personal devices. Charge your phone without plugging in anything.
- Wake – sleep control. Set a wake-up time for cabin crew or set it to ‘do not disturb’.
We look forward to seeing this onboard BA (if they go ahead with it) in late 2019.
What do you think of this new seat design? Let us know in the comments.