NEWS: BA – more details on new First class, Lufthansa may have new business on A350 & Gatwick new disinfection for security

Lufthansa B777x business class regular seat

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Lufthansa may have new business class on A350

Lufthansa B777X business class

While Lufthansa has an excellent first product, their business class is very dated and in the current era, not great for privacy or distancing if you are a solo traveller. You can read our review here. Their new B777X is due to have a much-improved product with all aisle access. Lufthansa is now reported to be in consultation with Airbus about whether they could introduce this new seat and bring some A350 deliveries forward. For some reason. Lufthansa stuck with its very dated 2-2-2 layout for its A350 deliveries so far.

Lufthansa current B747 business class

With Lufthansa planning to retire many of its larger and older aircraft early, it will need something more efficient and smaller to fill the gap in the meantime to match the reduced levels of demand. The A350 could fill the gap nicely, but it is understandable that they would not want any more aircraft delivered with the old seats. If they did have the new business class, I would certainly be more inclined to fly them. Right now, I would not fly them in business class at all with the current seats when there are so many better choices of business class seats around. 

HT: Australia’s Executive Traveller

 

BA confirms new First class

You may remember that TLFL has been saying for nearly 2 years that would be a new First class coming based on the B787. This was based on a discussion with Alex Cruz and other insider information. The new First class has now been briefed to crew members although details are scant. HfP revealed some leaked photos of the door and seat earlier. 

The new first class will be on the new B777-300 H variety which is due to be delivered later this year. It is not clear how many B777-300s are H variety and will have them.

We do have some further information on the seat which was not featured on HfP. The modified First seat is definitely based on the B787 seat as we have always said and is very similar apart from two privacy doors which are slightly taller than the suite itself. There is also a three-point seat belt. Otherwise, there are a few minor improvements to the seat such as storage and the TV screen but no major differences.

BA B787-10 current First seat

It was only natural that BA would have to introduce a First seat with doors after introducing the new Club Suite. BA is due to take delivery of their B777x from 2022 but I would not expect to see any further major improvements to First for some time due to the current situation. I am aware that BA were looking at a new First product for the distant future, but given the demise of First class and the current lack of income, I find it highly unlikely that they will continue to look at this any time soon, especially with an improved first-class product that has the all-important doors.

 

Gatwick new disinfection process for security

Gatwick is the first airport in the UK to treat its security trays with enough UV light energy to guarantee a 99.9% microbe disinfection rate – protecting passengers and staff and reducing the spread of coronaviruses, including COVID-19, and other infections on this high-touch surface area.

The new, highly effective system – provided by Smiths Detection – sees each tray pass through a covered ‘UV-tunnel’ fixed underneath the hand luggage screening system, as trays exit the scanners, so that every tray is treated immediately before each passenger uses it.

Following a one-month trial on a single security lane in July 2020, with laboratory testing demonstrating a 99.9% microbe disinfection rate, the new system will be rolled out on eight lanes in Gatwick’s North Terminal – six for passengers and two for staff – by the end of this month.

The system uses short-wavelength UV-C light, which laboratory tests show is effective against coronaviruses, including COVID-19 and SARS, as the radiation warps the structure of their genetic material and prevents the viral particles from replicating.

The UV-C light is completely contained within a covered unit designed following safety standard BS EN ISO 15858:2016, ensuring no risk of exposure to either passengers or staff.

Gatwick and other airports have already deployed other anti-viral systems, such as coatings sprayed on to trays, however, this protection dissipates over time whereas this new system treats every tray just before use – ensuring maximum protection and a reduced risk of passing on infection.

Adrian Witherow, Chief Operating Officer, Gatwick Airport, said: “The health and wellbeing of our passengers and staff remains our priority. The system goes above and beyond the guidelines and we will continue to do everything we can to help reassure our passengers that flying is still a great travelling experience and that the health measures we have in place are effective and easy to follow.

“This new system has proven itself to be extremely reliable and provides a really high degree of reassurance as every single passenger and staff member using the system will have a tray that has only just been disinfected.  As an airport, we will continue to explore innovative health solutions like this that reduce the spread of coronaviruses and other infections. “

“We’ve partnered with Gatwick Airport on a number of security projects over the years, bringing them cutting-edge screening technology and greater operational efficiency,” said Richard Thompson, Smiths Detection’s Global Director of Aviation.

“The introduction of the UV-C kits demonstrates their interest in ensuring the highest standard of care for their customers and team members in response to COVID-19. The technology deployed by Smiths Detection will not only help to create a healthy airport but is also completely safe to use and will not slow down the security screening process.”

2 Comments on "NEWS: BA – more details on new First class, Lufthansa may have new business on A350 & Gatwick new disinfection for security"

  1. Some useful info/corrections for you:

    The aircraft is the Boeing 777-300ER, designated as IATA 773 or ICAO B773 (or sometimes 77W/B77W). The cabin fitout (seats and crew bunks) often has an airline-created code, which in this case is 77H. There’s no aircraft ‘B777-300 H’ as such.

    There are four additional 777-300ER aircraft due for delivery to BA which were announced in 2018: G-STBM, G-STBN, G-STBO, and G-STBP – they should hopefully all arrive in 2020.

    The latest generation First seat, first introduced on the 787-9, is essentially the same across the 787-9, 787-10 and these latest 777-300ER deliveries. There are often minor variations over time in response to wear and tear, sometimes even during delivery of a type, such as the reading light on the 787-9 which did not wear well and was regularly broken by passengers. Another example is the trim on the table and side of the seat – this did not wear well and was changed with the introduction of the 787-10. The 777-300ER will have similar small changes, but as we now know there is also the addition of the door to the seat shell.

    That said, this is still the same ‘generation’ of seat. The ‘New First’ I think you are alluding to, in terms of a fundamentally new generation of seat, is what might debut on the 777X – or at least that was the plan pre-coronavirus. From reading your article I think you might have over-egged this idea a little as it’s not this product which is arriving on the 777-300ER 😉

    • Thank you for the clarification on the H. It was not clear from staff communication what this meant. Respectfully I disagree that I am “over-egging” this. I hardly think that saying that it is based on the B787 with doors and some minor modifications to storage is over egging it! Having doors is new enough for most people to regard this as a “new” seat. It is a substantial difference especially in the current situation where people value being as separate as possible for safety reasons. I am also aware that there is a new generation of First Seat as I stated in the article. Given the current situation I would still be surprised if we see this anytime soon.

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