Air France unveils new business class seat, IFE on 777-300ER

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A Boeing 777-300ER has been delivered to Air France with the carrier's new 'Affaires' business class seat and in-flight entertainment (IFE) system as well as new features in all three cabins.

With a fixed shell to preserve passengers' privacy, Air France's new business class seat reclines into a 6.6ft bed and boasts a Panasonic Avionics in-flight entertainment system with a 15in wide screen.

The IFE platform was "specially developed for Air France by Panasonic", and allows passengers to download programmes - an exclusive Air France service - read audio, photos and videos files on a USB key, and consult and modify work documents such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint files, says the carrier.

It is also possible to join Air France's frequent flyer programme on board by entering contact details in the specially developed interface.

"The use of new technologies enables Air France to offer a better picture quality. In all cabins, wider touch-sensitive screens are now in 16:9 format and have a faster response time," says Air France.

The carrier has also introduced two other new IFE features - customers can now access an interactive meal service menu and can also download recipes and take part in a discussion forum, where they can exchange with other passengers on the flight.

Additionally, the airline has introduced new bars in all cabins with fridge/freezer display cabinets where passengers can help themselves to drinks and ice cream depending on the flight duration.

In the cabin, a new color scheme "creates a calm, cosy and bright atmosphere, enhancing the overall luminosity and the comfort of passengers", says Air France. Marking the 200th Boeing aircraft delivered to Air France, the 383-seat 777 will operate its first commercial flight on 20 December, and will be assigned to fly the new nonstop Paris-Ho Chi Minh City route starting in January 2011.

"With this new aircraft, Air France is continuing to modernize its fleet, one of the youngest in Europe and is inaugurating its new business class product," says Air France chief marketing officer Bruno Matheu.

Flightglobal's ACAS database shows that Air France has orders for over a dozen more 777-300ERs.