Paris Air Show Blog 9: Airline CEOs rave about Jet’s first class seat

Jet Airways has raised the bar once again with its new first class product.

As my colleague Mark Pilling wrote in Paris Air Show Blog 7, Jet’s new Boeing 777-300ER turned out to be the showcase of the static display this year. I heard several airline chief executives toured the 777-300ER during the show and raved about Jet’s new first class product and how it is even better than the first class product Singapore Airlines introduced on its 777-300ERs late last year.

So I asked Jet chairman and founder Naresh Goyal who he hosted on board the aircraft at Paris and he quickly rattled off an impressive list which included the chief executives of Air France, Cathay Pacific Airways, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Japan Airlines and Qatar Airways. But none of these airlines will be able to copy Jet Airways because the seats were designed exclusively for Jet by B/E Aerospace. In fact, Jet Airways general manager corporate planning Gilbert George says the carrier has a patent on the seats.

Goyal says the chief executives of International Lease Finance and several engine manufacturers, including CFM International, General Electric and Rolls-Royce, also toured the aircraft and were impressed.

As Mark pointed out in his blog, Jet’s new business and economy class seats are also nifty. But I disagree with Mark’s comment about Jet’s economy class configuration being roomier than normal. In fact, Jet’s 3-3-3 configuration in economy class is in line with the 777 economy class product of most Asian and European carriers.

Almost all of the world’s 777 operators have nine seats abreast in economy, with a 3-3-3 configuration common in Asia and Europe and a 2-5-2 configuration common among US carriers. Very few carriers squeeze in that awful extra seat for a 3-4-3 configuration. Emirates and Thai Airways are the only ones that I can think of that have 777s in a 3-4-3 configuration and Thai only does it on its intra-Asia 777s.

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One Response to Paris Air Show Blog 9: Airline CEOs rave about Jet’s first class seat

  1. Ian Goold 1 July, 2007 at 1:01 am #

    Yes, EK is one of the few offering 3-4-3 seating on the 777. As (then) cabin services director Don Foster pointed out at the time of EK’s selection of the 777 over the Airbus A340, one of the contributory factors was that you can’t “get ten-abreast in the back of an A340″.

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