Is this the new British Airways Business Class Suite?

British Airways has a functional Business Class seat which received its last refresh in 2006. British Airways current’s Club World seat isn’t cutting edge. At the time they launched it, it was a great product, but the world moved on to even better innovation for their premium customers, and British Airways did not join the party.

Having said that, even with the compact layout, it is a very functional product. Last year, British Airways confirmed that they would be launching a new Club World seat in 2019.

Yesterday, British Airways shared a few teasers images of the upcoming Business class seat on social media.

British Airways Business Class

New Club World seat teaser

British Airways Business Class

New Club World seat teaser

British Airways Business class

British Airways new Club World seat teaser

British Airways Business Class

British Airways new Club World seat teaser

Well we know two things straight off. A button in the handrest indicates a possible storage area beneath it. And the table release suggests that the entire tray table slides out from under the IFE screen. Well, the armrest is similar to what you will find on B/E Super Diamond seats which you can see on Qatar Airways’ A380, select A350 and 787 fleet, American Airlines and so-on.

Ben from OMAAT pointed out that new Club World seat has a door on the right side and in fact could be a concept seat which is a modified version of the B/E Super Diamond seat. That’s when it struck me. I had read an article a few years back, and it has stayed there in my mind ever since.

British Airways Business Class

Waterfront Source: Formation Design Group

The reason being it was the first time I came to know that a company focused on IFE and inflight connectivity was associated with developing a new concept seat. Yeah. The concept codenamed Waterfront is a modified version of the B/E Super Diamond seat. It is a collaboration between Rockwell Collins, Panasonic, Formation Design Group and TEAGUE.

British Airways Business Class

Waterfront Source: TEAGUE

Well, the concept was launched in 2016 and had a range of feature at that time. It is a modified B/E Super Diamond seat with a door. At that time since it was a concept, they said it would feature an edge to edge 24 inch 4k IFE screen, a 7-inch wireless controller, inductive charging, power outlets, USB ports, a PED controller with Bluetooth and NFC and so-on.

British Airways Business Class

Waterfront Source: Panasonic

Also, the side seat compartment can be temperature controlled. Plus the seat will have mood lighting which can be controlled by the passenger via his/her smartphone or the controller.

Wow. Isn’t it? And guess what? The seat was showcased for the first time at Aircrafts Interior Expo in 2016. The same time when news came that British Airways will launch a new Business Class seat onboard their A350-1000. When the seat was showcased for the first time, it was mentioned that it would be available for airlines in 2019.

British Airways Business Class

Waterfront Source: Panasonic

And this seat has everything that British Airways told we should expect in the new Club World seat: increased stowage, privacy, floor space area, aisle access and a gate to gate entertainment system. Plus the teasers also match the seat design.

Bottomline

Colour me impressed if British Airways debuts this seat and incorporates at least some of the features. Airlines are moving towards business class with doors. It all started with Qatar Airways’ Q suites, followed by Delta launching Delta One Suites. Now, is it time for British Airways?

What do you think about this concept seat? Will it be the new Club World seat which will be launching tomorrow?

Comments

  1. I hope that they let go of the 2-4-2 configuration on Club World. Simply not value for money sitting in an awkward rear facing position & gazing at your co-passenger for take-off & landing. Other than the window seats on upper deck of 747 there isnt enough space to keep your stuff.

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