A new trend is emerging in Asia’s air travel sector and that is private luxury flights, using the new high-density first-class product from B/E Aerospace by Apex. Japan Airlines (JAL) has already implemented this and now Korean Air is in the spotlight for following suit, as Apex says B/E Aerospace allows:
“Direct aisle access for all passengers, eliminating the socially awkward requirement to step over an adjacent passenger. Additionally, flight attendants can more easily serve without inconveniencing other passengers.”
Much like JAL’s suites, Korean Air’s new “Prestige Suites” business class will turn its lie-flat seats into 74-inch long beds. When not fully reclined, the seats are said to remain comfortable, measuring 21.6 inches wide. Other advantages of the B/E Aerospace system include: a 23-inch widescreen touchscreen TV with an optional handheld controller, forward facing taxi for takeoff and landing, undisturbed sleep for aisle passengers, and discreet cabin service to outboard/window passengers.
In a move that improves and aligns Korean Air’s business class cabin with international standards, the most significant improvement comes with the introduction of a fully flat bed – replacing the older lie-flat seats. The new Prestige Suites will first be introduced on a Korean Air A330-300 on the Guangzhou, Singapore, and Hanoi routes before 38 more aircrafts receive this upgrade. Orders for upgrades include six A330-300s, twelve B777-300ERs, ten B747-8Is, and ten B787-9s. Korean Air has also announced a future unveiling of a brand new first-class product intended to complement the new Prestige Suite business class.
JAL’s suites already offer sufficient privacy, as its seat mechanics are identical to what Korean Air will be offering. In JAL’s suites though, there is an extended partition at eye-level between suites that offers a little more privacy.
Business-class suites in large commercial JAL aircrafts offer a fully flat surface, with an ottoman for extended bed length. When seats recline, the armrests flatten to offer increased bed width, extending just under 23 inches wide.
Similar to British Airways’ long-standing Club World product, the advantage of B/E Aerospace seats by Apex in JAL and Korean Air is that passengers can choose to fly together or in complete privacy. Center seats are aligned perfectly, while window twin seats are staggered slightly to ensure each passenger has access to the aisle of the aircraft.
As Korean Air touts the new B/E Aerospace seat design by Apex in their air cabins, in stepping out of the shadows of Japan Airlines, only time will tell if more airlines decide to adopt this true luxury experience for world-class travelling.