This week, British Airways officials confirmed that when its brand-new Airbus A350-100 aircraft enter service beginning next year, the planes will not include a first class cabin. The soon-to-be-delivered jets will, however, feature redesigned-all-aisle access seats in the premium Club World business class cabin.
The excitement over the launch of the brand-new British Airways Club World business class lie-flat seat with direct aisle access, innovative privacy partitions and unique storage solutions has been somewhat overshadowed by news that the airline will not offer a first class cabin on its new Airbus A350-1000 aircraft. The jetliners, which the carrier envisions as a natural successor to its aging fleet of Boeing 747 jumbo jets, will instead rely on upgraded Club World and World Traveller Plus premium cabins to provide for its elite flyers.
“At the moment all eighteen A350s we have on order will be three class,” a British Airways spokesperson confirmed to Australian Business Traveller.
The new Club World business seats will also make an appearance on future Boeing 777 and 787-10 planes scheduled for delivery next year. The airline is also said to be exploring the possibility of retro-fitting older planes with the highly anticipated new business class seat.
The UK flag carrier has reportedly not ruled out the possibility of adding first class seats to the A350 fleet at a later date. According to the magazine, the addition of first class accommodations would not likely require retrofitting the A350s already scheduled for delivery. Instead, the airline will differentiate the first class product from the business class cabin through steeped up service, inflight dining options and amenities, rather than larger seats or private suites.
For the time being, the airline says it will maintain first class cabins with traditional open suites in its remaining Boeing 747 aircraft. A number of the jumbos are expected to continue to be pressed into service until at least 2019.