All British Airways flights to and from Australia will feature the airline’s new first class cabin by March 2012.
The airline is now finalising installation of the new First Class cabins on its fleet of Boeing 747-400s, which will become BA’s dedicated aircraft type in this market. The new cabin is already offered on the Boeing 777 fleet.
Created at a cost of GBP 100 million, the new First Class is inspired by premium British automotive brands. The airline’s Coat of Arms, with the motto “To Fly To Serve”, is a core feature, and the 1920s pioneering era of luxury travel is captured through motifs such as Cyril Kenneth Bird’s ‘Care in the Air’ character.
British Airways head of customer experience, Mark Hassell, said, “We have contemporised First and created an intimate private jet experience onboard. We have resisted gadgets and gimmicks and focused instead on simplicity and quality.”
Central to the new First Class is a redesigned suite featuring an enhanced bed – 60% wider at the shoulders than the current product, and with a new “intelligent” mattress and 400-thread Egyptian cotton bed linen.
Customers will also have precision control over their seat position thanks to an innovative seat control unit that replaces switches. Each individual suite has its own personal wardrobe, a leather-bound writing desk that converts into a dining table, a new 15 inch in-flight entertainment screen and a buddy seat to enable customers to dine together. The lighting and electronic blinds can be modified to reflect mood and time of day.
Other key features of the new First Class include a USB port, RCA jack and noise-cancelling headsets, and an Anya Hindmarch washbag and amenities by REN, D.R. Harris & Co and Marvis. British Airways currently operates Boeing 747s on its daily Sydney-Bangkok-London services and Boeing 777s on daily Sydney-Singapore-London flights.
The Sydney-Bangkok service will be discontinued early next year, and the Sydney-Singapore-London operation will be upgraded to Boeing 747-400s, all with the new First Class cabin.
The new First Class also will be offered by British Airways on its daily connecting Boeing 747 and 777 flights from Hong Kong.