Japan Airlines customers sitting ever more pretty
Japan Airlines is in the middle of a revamp of its service products that is seeing new seating from several leading designers and manufacturers – JPA Design and Contour of the UK, B/E Aerospace of the USA, Japan’s GK Industrial Design and Recaro of Germany – being installed in all four classes.
The airline started to introduce a new first-class suite, the Shell Flat Neo business seat, the premium economy Sky Shell seat and its latest economy unit on the recently delivered Boeing 777-300ERs it operates to the USA - Tokyo-New York initially, followed by Tokyo-San Francisco in September and Tokyo-Chicago and Los Angeles from next April.
The first-class JAL Suite is a collaboration by Contour and JPA Design. Twenty per cent more spacious than the current Skysleeper Solo, the Suite comprises a compartment made of a range of composite materials. The first-class cabin contains eight suites set in 1-2-1 configuration.
The seat is upholstered in pale gray leather, with 5in-wide padded armrests that retract at the touch of a button as the seat converts into a full-flat bed. In the 180-degree position the seat combines with an ottoman located at the opposite end of the compartment to create a large sleeping area. When the seat is in the upright position the ottoman can be used as a visitor seat, with a large sliding table available for use by both passengers.
In-seat amenities include a 19in screen for AVOD inflight entertainment, Bose noise-cancelling headphones, a laptop power point, stowage spaces for bags and small items, a large side shelf and literature pockets.
The Suite also features a mattress from Tempur-Pedic International of the USA containing a visco-elastic temperature-sensitive material that moulds to the body of the sleeper. It yields slowly under compression to distribute the load evenly over the entire area and maximise comfort. The flight attendant places the mattress, along with a down comforter and pillow, on the seat-bed at the passenger’s request.
In another JAL first-class development, the airline will offer a first-class cabin from January in the Boeing 747-400s that it uses on Tokyo-New Delhi. The cabin will feature the Skysleeper seat with a 6.4in screen delivering IFE through a Rockwell Collins system, and Bose noise-cancelling headsets.
The Shell Flat Neo business seat was created by B/E Aerospace and GK Industrial Design on the basis of the earlier Shell Flat seat. Improvements include more recline - to 171 degrees – plus increased pitch and width, more comfortable upholstery and refined controls offering a wider range of positions. IFE provision includes a 15.4in screen. Other amenities comprise extra centre-console stowage space with special slots for spectacles, slippers and a water bottle.
The premium economy Sky Shell seat, also the work of B/E and GK Design, is described as the first ever shell-seat to be offered in this type of class. Providing an advertised 20 per cent more legroom than JAL’s economy-class seats, the design is intended to ensure that the passenger loses no space when the seat in front is reclined. Features include a footrest and headrest, a nine-inch screen, laptop power and a seat tray that can accommodate a fully opened A4-sized laptop.
The airline recently received a Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organisation (JIDPO) award for this seat.
Made by Recaro, JAL’s newest economy seat has a nine-inch screen and, on the US routes, a “hammock headrest” with added cushioning.