The battle to differentiate long-haul premium services has already resulted in some radical reshaping of cabin layouts. A glance across the latest configurations for a selection of the world's leading premium operators demonstrates the point (see tables right).

Some of these carriers are clearly hoping to pull away from the pack. For example, British Airways with its New Club World sleeper seat is offering 73 in (1.85m) of pitch on the Boeing 777 and 747-400. That compares with 50in on the outgoing layout. That still shows through on the older 767 cabins. This new BAfour-class configuration actually cuts the seat capacity on a 747-400 by more than 20%.

Oneworld alliance partner Cathay will soon join BAwith a lie-flat business bed, as will Singapore Airlines. However, it is important to note that not all aircraft are used in the same way or for the same markets. For example, Cathay and Singapore have limited pitch on their 777s which they largely use for intra-regional rather than intercontinental flying.

The data comes from the Online Airline Product Database (OAPD), an offering recently launched jointly by IATA and Airline Business online sister service Air Transport Intelligence.

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Source: Airline Business