Latin American airline group LATAM announced Tuesday that it has undertaken a huge cabin overhaul for all its Boeing 777s.
During an event in Sao Paulo, LATAM displayed its first retrofitted Boeing 777-300ER, the airline’s largest aircraft in a fleet of approximately 323 planes. LATAM has plans to spend $500 million renovating aircraft cabins to enhance the passenger experience while also introducing new products and services.
LATAM Group CEO Enrique Cueto began the event, saying that the hardest part of the merger between LAN and TAM is now over and that it is time to consolidate its presence in Central and South America.
LATAM’s 10 Boeing 777-300ERs are based in Brazil
The first step in this process will be the retrofitting around 200 planes starting with their fleet of 10 Boeing 777-300ERs based in Brazil.
LATAM uses its triple sevens on routes from Sao Paulo to Miami, Frankfurt, London, and Madrid. At the moment LATAM’s high-density business class product is pretty archaic when compared to other airline offerings, and as such is shunned by many business travelers.
Configured in a 2-3-2 layout the seats did not offer direct aisle access for all. The seats were also unable to recline fully, unlike LATAM’s competitors.
LATAM has now addressed these two major concerns by retrofitting the jets with new Thompson Vantage XL seats configured in a 1-2-1 layout. The new seats all have direct aisle access and are capable of reclining 180 degrees into a fully-flat bed.
To ensure passengers get a good night’s rest LATAM is introducing new premium pillows and bedding with temperature regulating mattresses that come with pressure-point technology. Enhancing the seats with a new color and fabric also brings them up to date, as does the modern 18-inch Panasonic entertainment screen.
Passengers will be treated to South American inspired menus
Adding to the business class experience, and defining the airline’s Latin American roots, passengers will be treated to a new menu composed by Brazilian and Chilean chefs.
The prime focus of LATAM’s new food offerings will be the use of locally sourced fresh South American ingredients accompanied by Argentinian and Chilean wines selected by the continent’s only Master Sommelier, Hector Vergara.
LATAM + to be introduced on the Boeing 777-300ER
Economy class in the retrofitted 777 cabins will continue to feature the industry-standard 3-4-3 configuration that is common on most Boeing 777s.
The seats, however, will be new, with a red and blue design that represents the airline’s colors set into the fabric. New modern entertainment screens have also been installed, but the size of the screen has remained the same to save money during the retrofit.
LATAM is also adding a feature to the Boeing 777-300ER that is used on its domestic flights, and that is a forward section of the economy class called LATAM +. The only difference between LATAM + and regular economy is that you get a little more legroom and priority boarding. Other than that the seats are the same.
Looking at it from a business point of view LATAM had no choice but to upgrade its business offering on these highly competitive routes or face losing passengers.
Once the retrofit is done, together with the dining options LATAM should have a winner on their hands.