Air France picks business seat; eyeing premium economy for A380

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Air France will introduce a new business-class seat to its fleet by the end of this year, and says it also still plans to offer a premium economy product on its Airbus A380s.

The new lie-flat seat converts into a bed that is 2m long and also features a 15in (38 cm) screen for in-flight entertainment. Over 20 aircraft will be equipped with the new product by summer next year, and by 2013 the carrier estimates that 40 777s, A330s, and A380s will have it installed.

In addition to the new seat, Air France says that it has been "renewing" its catering offerings in business class over the past few months, and has also "enhanced the range of services available throughout their trip and improved the range of well-being services on offer in its lounges".

An Air France spokeswoman also tells ATI that the carrier's premium economy product, Premium Voyageur, will be coming to its Airbus A380 aircraft. Existing A380s without Premium Voyager will be retrofitted, though the airline has not announced a timeline for the changes.

The carrier's initial A380s have been delivered in a three-class configuration. Flight International reported last November that adding a fourth class of service was not possible due to production delays.