Spacious suites with closets and a “world-first” headphone-free stereo are just some of the updates in the interior of the Airbus A350-1000 jets by Japan Airlines.
The airline, which has placed 13 orders of the model – the largest of the A350 variants – is planning to launch them by the end of the year, on its Tokyo (Haneda) to New York (JFK) route.
Several key adjustments were made to the cabin of the wide-body plane, which the airline said will become its “new flagship for international service after nearly 20 years”.
First and business-class upgrades
The luxurious first-class section has been reduced to just six seats, which in turn has allowed the airline to make each significantly more spacious. Privacy and comfort are JAL's main considerations in the redesign, given the flight to NYC is nearly 13 hours.
The suites come with a private sliding door. Inside is an adjustable sofa that can turn into a single bed or a full double bed. There is space for a small wardrobe and a minibar too.
Perhaps the coolest update is the built-in headrest speakers, eliminating the use of headphones when using JAL's in-flight entertainment. The technology is created by French aircraft interior designer Safran and audio tech company Devialet.
The Japanese airline's Boeing 777-300 jets, which currently serve its long-haul flights, have 49 business-class seats. In the new Airbus planes, these have been increased to 54.
This section of the plane also has privacy doors and the overhead storage compartments are positioned on the window side to create a more open atmosphere in the cabin.
JAL's economy class is lauded as one of the best in the world, and it vows to continue this reputation with the A350-1000.
The premium economy section, for example, also takes privacy seriously, and its 24 seats are divided with larger partitions.
The cabin also features electrically operated reclining seats as well as motorised leg rests that can rise up to 90 degrees. There's a 16-inch personal monitor for each seat that is 1.3 times larger than previous models, as well as a power outlet and charging ports built into the seats.
There are 155 seats in this cabin, set up in a 3-3-3 configuration over 18 rows. The seats have a width of 46cm, which is at the top end of the industry average.
The seats also come with 13-inch monitors, significantly bigger than the 10.6-inch monitors of the Boeing 777-300. There's an earphone jack at the end of the armrests, but passengers can connect their own headphones to the device via Bluetooth.