There’s a revolution afoot in the skies. Seats which once could only be imagined for private air travel are making their way from first class to business class, giving 40 or more lucky passengers per flight one heck of a ride. Today, ANA unveiled it’s newest business class iteration for their refurbished fleet of Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, and to say it’s a powerful statement might be selling it short. This isn’t a seat, it’s a fully flat sofa bed with the latest electronics, Japanese wood touches and more…
What else could it possibly have, you may ask? For starters, a privacy door.
Privacy Doors For Business Class
Following trend, privacy doors have made their way into business class for this new “The Room” concept. With a young fleet of Boeing 777-300ER flagship aircraft, ANA create inspired new interiors which will debut next month, *August 2nd* between London Heathrow and Tokyo Haneda on flights NH211, NH212 respectively before rolling out to wider destinations currently served by the 777-300ER.
Note: the new interior won’t be flying daily until the beginning of September, it will fly even numbered dates only in August, and odd in September until the daily move. This rollout includes newly inspired galleys, first class and business class, as well as updates to economy and premium economy.
The Latest Connectivity
So what makes these new ANA business class seats absolutely stunning, aside from the Kengo Kuma designed Japanese Rosewood and delicate Ash wood finishes? The latest in electronic connectivity means that a business class guest in this new cabin called “The Room” can download an ANA smartphone app and curate their own entertainment playlist.
It’s unclear whether bluetooth connectivity has been created for personal headphones, but if it has, extra props to ANA for solving one of the most frustrating *first world* luxury business class travel problems, which ultimately aren’t problems – but wishes.
ANA has partnered with Panasonic to create a custom lighting scheme designed to help ease the effects of jet lag and create passenger wellness. The new colour schemes are entirely based off natural light given by the sun. Think: orange sunset hues and beautiful blue and white light.
Not only that, you can then control it on your own phone, rather than fiddling for a remote control or reaching to tap along. Yep, your phone is your remote control, if you’d like it to be, and you can pre plan every moment.
When it comes to actual viewing, guests are blessed with the latest 4k monitor technology on a screen of at least 22”, similar to what’s offered in the industry leading Qatar Airways “Qsuite”. In fact, the entertainment console is strikingly similar.
But then there’s the seat, which isn’t actually a seat, it’s a sofa bed of sorts. This sofa bed concept takes up the entire width of each suite, meaning guests can lounge at different angles and make use of a greater surface area than virtually any other business class seat. At some points, it easily has the width of many of the best first class offerings.
Guests will sleep at a slight angle, but it appears ANA learned from previous concepts, such as the long standing Singapore Airlines business class seat, to offer greater foot cubby width and more of a natural sleep position. The YouTube video above illustrates this far better than words can. ANA has partnered with Nishikawa to create bespoke bedding solutions as well.
In addition to new business and first class seats, ANA has created sharp new galleys, which appear to offer more space for socialising, or at least grabbing a quick snack, similar to the snack areas offered on American Airlines or British Airways.
If there’s a drawback to be found, which we genuinely struggle to, it would be that business class is so nice, it almost cannibalises first class. ANA has updated their massive first class suites to include door to window bed width, full privacy doors and 4K screens at a whopping 43” size.
Ultimately, the big differentiator between business and first, given that both offer a 4 across layout with huge beds, will be in the service approach. ANA First Class currently includes Krug 2004, a generous caviar service and absolutely personalised customer recognition. If you can swing it, you might as well. The amenity kits alone are something to savour!
We can’t wait to take these seats in once ANA begins service on August 2nd. At first glance, given the tech, the bed width and the privacy – these instantly enter the business class arena as a top 3 seating product. With ANA’s track record on soft touches, it could even be a top spot contender. What a year for business class!