Photos courtesy Air France
Air France is dumping nearly $700 milllion into refurbishing the interiors of its sizable fleet of long-distance flights, and some of the results are on view this week in New York City. The improvements were made with the goal of restoring Air France’s status “as one of the top airlines in the world,” CEO Alexandre de Juniac said during a press briefing. And while the redecorated fleet may take a few years to make its way into the system, for the next few days the public can preview the results at a loft in Chelsea, where a mobile “Air France Expo” makes its second appearance after stopping in Shanghai earlier this spring. It’ll land in Paris this September.
The road show is a quirky mix of nostalgia—vintage travel posters, timetables and flight bags—along with examples of some of the latest seating innovations that should start showing up on planes in the latter half of this year. Among them are nearly 10,000 new coach seats, with wider video screens and more options for in-flight entertainment; more than 1,100 premium economy seats with 40 percent more space than the chairs in the back of the bus; and 2,000 business class conveyances that, at 77 inches long, are both bigger and more elaborate than earlier versions. At the top of the food chain are the airline’s previously announced first-class compartments, La Premiere—suite-like spaces that are by definition exclusive, wirth just four per plane.
The first routes to get the new furnishings will connect France to Singapore, Shanghai, Tokyo, Jakarta, plus several cities in the Middle East and Latin America, as well as Houston, Texas.
Want to see the new tricked-out cabins for yourself? The exhibition is on through Saturday at a Chelsea loft; more details are available on Air France’s Expo website. (If you need more incentive, there will be complimentary wine, champagne, and Ladure macarons.)
Source: Conde Nast Traveler