Ethiopian Airlines appears to be introducing two new business class seats on its 787 and A350 fleet. While no official statement has been made, a promotional video from the airline highlights the new product on its A350. The products are a significant upgrade from Ethiopian’s current 2-2-2 business class product.
New business class on the 787
Ethiopian first rolled out an updated business class product on its most recent 787-9 aircraft. The cabin is configured out in a 1-2-1 configuration, giving all passenger direct aisle access and a lot more space.
The seats themselves are in a reverse-herringbone design, which means window seats are angled toward the window, adding more privacy. Middle seat pairs alternate between being closer to each other and further apart. The cabin uses a similar color scheme to Ethiopian’s current product with a mix of red seats and silver accents.
The latest Boeing 787-9 that Ethiopian Airlines received has a 1-2-1 layout in Business Class, also known as reverse herringbone. This new compared to the 2-2-2 configuration all of its widebodies have #ethiopianairlines #boeing #business #fleet #avgeek pic.twitter.com/o3WCMqChrM
— ETWatch (@ETWatch) October 24, 2020
The new product was spotted by enthusiasts on Twitter soon after Ethiopian took delivery of its newest 787-9. The seats are fairly common now and similar to those found on Cathay Pacific, American Airlines, Air Canada, and many others. Overall, the product is a massive leap from Ethiopian’s old business class.
Ethiopian recently took delivery of two A350-900s this week, bringing its A350 fleet size to 15. While there was much celebration of the deliveries themselves, Ethiopian also quietly unveiled a new business class product on the aircraft. While the cabin is also laid out in a 1-2-1 configuration, the seats are slightly different from the new 787 ones.
The window seats are offset from each other, alternating from being closer to the window or the aisle. They also feature a curved cocoon-like design, which adds much more privacy. Middle seats are closer apart or spaced out in alternate rows, with high privacy dividers if you don’t know your seatmate.
We have taken delivery of 2 brand-new A-350 aircraft on the same day,we have also donated humanitarian medical equipment brought on-board the delivery flight of these brand-new aircraft to Ethiopian Ministry of Health at a grand event held today at ET Cargo & Logistics Services. pic.twitter.com/Z4WHRW88tj
— Ethiopian Airlines (@flyethiopian) November 8, 2020
There are also no overhead bins over the middle seats, making the cabin feel a lot more spacious than the 787. This product is quite common across the industry and the seats are similar to those on Turkish Airlines and others. Overall, the seat is likely a good pick for long-haul flights on the A350.
The two new business class products are a massive leap from Ethiopian’s current 2-2-2 business class on its widebodies. Those seats offer much less privacy and space than either of the new products. Nearly all other airlines have opted to move to a 1-2-1 configuration on their A350s.
It’s currently unclear if Ethiopian will retrofit its older A350s and 787s, or even the 777s, with the new cabin layout. The airline is currently flying 40% of its pre-pandemic capacity, which means it will likely defer expensive retrofits. For now, only a few lucky passengers will get to fly the airline’s new business class.
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