Japan Airlines to revamp 777-300ER and 767-300ER cabins

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Japan Airlines (JAL) will retrofit its Boeing 777-300ER fleet and some of its Boeing 767-300ERs with a new cabin product.

The Oneworld alliance member's 13 Boeing 777-300ERs will be retrofitted with eight first class seats, 49 business seats, 40 premium economy seats and 135 economy seats, says JAL's spokeswoman.

It hopes to commence the retrofitting works "soon", she adds.

The retrofitted aircraft will first be deployed on its Tokyo Narita-London Heathrow route from January 2013, before being extended to other destinations like New York.

The airline also plans to retrofit an unspecified number of dual-class configuration 767-300ERs. It will introduce full-flat business class seats first, before retrofitting its economy class seats from October 2013.

JAL's spokeswoman was unable to confirm when the retrofit programme will be completed.

Contour Aerospace will supply the first class seats. This section of the aircraft is being redesigned and will retain the "best qualities" of JAL's existing Suite seat, says the airline. The seats will feature 23in (584mm) personal television screens, larger than the existing 19in screens.

B/E Aerospace will provide the full-flat business class seats. All of them will have unobstructed aisle access. These seats will also have greater privacy, says JAL. They will include 23in television screens, a significant increase from the existing 15.4in screens.

Sicma Aero Seat has been contracted to work on the premium economy seats, which retains a fixed backrest feature that allows for sufficient legroom even when the passenger in front reclines, says the airline.

The seat pitch has been widened by approximately 4in for more legroom, while the 12.1in television screens will be larger than the existing 9in ones.

Zim Flugsitz will supply the economy class seats, which will have a wider seat pitch of 2-3in as a result of the slimmer seat-back design.

"Extensive research and planning have gone into the selection of these new products, and with other upcoming services to be rolled out, we hope to deliver our promise to offer our customers excellence in safety and quality, and to express our gratitude for their support as we endeavour to re-establish ourselves as a leading air transport company that can continuously serve travellers," Takahisa Hatakeyama, JAL's vice-president for product and service strategy development, said in a statement.

The airline has no plans to retrofit its Boeing 737-800 or Embraer 170 aircraft with the new seats, adds the spokeswoman.