October 30, 2015 – Aircraft interiors giant, B/E Aerospace, has announced that it has been selected by a major international airline to outfit its new-buy wide-body aircraft with “proprietary and unprecedented high-end super first class suites which will set a totally new standard for the first class travel experience.”
B/E indicates that deliveries of the suites are expected to begin in late 2017 and are initially valued in excess of US$260 million.
“Our super first class suites will provide the airline’s first class passengers with unprecedented comfort and functionality,” commented Amin J. Khoury, executive chairman of B/E Aerospace.
So who is the customer?
We’re speculating, but the first airline that springs to mind is Singapore Airlines, as in 2017 the Suites class onboard its A380s will have been flying for a decade, and it will also begin taking delivery of five new A380s. During 2014 the suites received some cosmetic upgrades, including new, darker leathers with a quilted finish more in line with their Boeing 777 first class seats as well as some lighting enhancements. However, given the age of the product and how the market and customer tastes have developed over the past 10 years, Singapore Airlines seems the most likely contender to be introducing new first class product.
Below: Singapore Airlines’ A380 Suites amazed the industry when they were launched 10 years ago
Of course when super first class is mentioned, the Gulf carriers also spring to mind. However, Etihad only launched its remarkable A380 product in January, and Qatar Airways has indicated it is focusing on super business class (with double beds) rather than super first class.
Of the major Gulf carriers, that leaves Emirates. We are anticipating a major product announcement from the airline in the near future, as an update to its A380 suites which have been flying since 2008. There is certainly new Emirates product in the pipeline, and it will of course be spectacular, but that “new buy aircraft” line doesn’t fit with 2017 being at the end of the airline’s A380 delivery schedule and being too early for its Boeing 777X deliveries.
Amid this speculation, one thing is for sure: when the suites are revealed, Aircraft Interiors International will be taking an in-depth look at the product.