British Airways is hoping to provide a private business class seat to rival Delta Air Lines and Qatar Airways, which offer the same exclusive service. As of July, British Airways business travelers will have the option of selecting a Club Suite, which transforms into a flat bed and has a door for direct aisle access. The Club Suite bed dimensions are 6 ft 6 long and 21 inches wide. The suite also includes a vanity unit and mirror, Wi-Fi, power outlets, and HD programming on an 18.5-inch screen. It also affords 40 percent more storage than World Club Seats.
Each of the airline’s Airbus A350s will feature 56 business class Club Suites. Once the new planes are delivered, the seats will be tested first on flights between London and Madrid. Then, on October 1, the plane will begin offering long-haul flights between Heathrow and Toronto with flights to Dubai starting a week later. Three new A350s will be added to the fleet and two Boeing 777s will be retrofitted with the new cabin. British Airways, however, won’t offer the Club Suite service on other long-haul flights until 2020.
"At British Airways we have one of Europe's largest long-haul fleets and most far-reaching global networks, so it will take some time to make the cabin available to everybody. We hope that as more customers have the chance to experience it, they'll enjoy traveling in it as much as we've enjoyed designing it,” said Alex Cruz, CEO of British Airways.
The Airbus A350, which will reduce fuel burn by 25 per cent, is a long-range, twin-engine wide-body jet airliner developed by Airbus. The A350 is the first Airbus plane with both fuselage and wing structures made primarily of carbon fiber reinforced polymer. The A350 are also equipped with large windows and a lower cabin altitude to lessen the effects of jet lag. The A350 competes with the Boeing 787 and 777.
In January 2015, the A350-900 entered service with Qatar Airways, and in February, the A350-1000 entered service with the same airline. Eventually, at British Airways, the new planes will replace their ageing Boeing 747 fleet on routes to Cape Town, Las Vegas, Miami, Vancouver, and Nairobi. The new Club Suite is part of British Airways’ £6.5 billion ($8.6 billion) investment to improve the air carrier.
British Airways will also upgrade their current economy class and premium economy on the new A350 aircraft as well. Expect to see a larger premium economy cabin and a smaller economy cabin.