Mateusz Maszczynski is a serving international flight attendant with experience…
In August last year, KLM first announced its intention to replace the ageing Business Class seats on its A330 long-haul aircraft. The new World Business Class seat was first unveiled in 2015 and has been installed across the rest of the airline’s fleet including its Boeing 777-200’s and Boeing 747’s. The new seat has come as standard on KLM’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s.
Unfortunately, the Airbus A330’s, some of which are only just over three years old, have been sporting a tired angle-flat Business Class seat with just 60 inches of pitch and 20.5 inches in width.
The A330-200’s fly to destinations, mostly in Africa including: Entebbe, Freetown, Lagos, Luanda, Monrovia. However, they’re also deployed on Middle East flights to Abu Dhabi and Muscat, as well as longer range journey’s to Havana, Edmonton, Miami, Montreal and Saint Martin.
The five A330-300’s meanwhile, are used on flights to some of the above African destinations, as well as Bahrain, Kuwait City, Vancouver and Washington DC.
In a statement, KLM said the retrofit project on its entire fleet of eight A330-200’s should be complete by the end of October 2018, with the work on its A330-300’s finishing slightly earlier in July 2018.
KLM uses a Diamond Business Class seat by B/E Aerospace. It offers a fully-flat seat in a 2-2-2 configuration – so despite the significant upgrade, there still won’t be direct aisle access for every passenger. There’s also some criticism about the lack of privacy provided by the shell of the seat.
The airline teamed up with Dutch designer Hella Jongerius to kit out the interiors and furnishings of its new World Business cabin. Jongerius combined lighter and darker tones of KLM’s iconic blue brand to make “the KLM blue sparkle even more.” The cabin’s carpet has been partly made from the recycled uniform of old cabin crew uniforms.
“It is truly remarkable that KLM is open to this kind of approach for its interior. Aircraft interiors have to meet an unbelievable range of technical requirements,” explained Jongerius when her designs were first unveiled.
She continued: “We achieved this by simplifying the new seat, changing its colour and upholstering it with high-quality textile.”
The first A330-300 to be fitted with the new World Business Class cabin is registration number PH-AKA. All seats will come with in-seat power and an 18″ television, offering HD films and 12 language options.
Mateusz Maszczynski is a serving international flight attendant with experience at a major Middle East and European airline. Mateusz is passionate about the aviation industry and helping aspiring flight attendants achieve their dreams. Cabin crew recruitment can be tough, ultra-competitive and just a little bit confusing - Mateusz has been there and done that. He's got the low down on what really works.