American’s New Business Class Seat?

Several days ago I wrote about how American is changing the business class seat supplier they’re using for the 777-200 and 787-9.

American-New-Business-1

While they contracted the seats for those planes to Zodiac, unfortunately they haven’t been able to deliver anywhere close to on-time, which has cost American quite a bit of money. That’s especially true for the 787s, where the planes have been ready for delivery from Boeing, but Zodiac didn’t have the seats ready.

Changing seat manufacturers last minute when you’ve already reconfigured some of your fleet is a pretty drastic move, and presumably American is now in quite a rush to find a replacement.

A lot of us are wondering what American’s new business class seat will look like on the 777-200 and 787-9. After all, there are only so many manufacturers of business class seats with direct aisle access which have the capacity to handle American’s needs.

Skift has an article about the seat problems at American, and specifically the fines they face from Boeing and lawsuit they’ve filed against Zodiac. From a passenger experience standpoint, however, the most interesting part is their speculation that B/E Aerospace is a logical candidate to take over the American business class seat contract:

But industry sources indicate that B/E Aerospace in Winston-Salem North Carolina is the likely candidate to step in at this point. The manufacturer is large enough to meet demands, located within the U.S., and has a long-standing relationship within the new American Airlines Group as a supplier to US Airways.

Of their business class products, the most popular with direct aisle access is the “Super Diamond” seat.

Super-Diamond-Seat

That might look familiar, as it’s the same seat Qatar Airways uses in business class on their 787s, A350s, and A380s.

Qatar-Airways-A350-Business-Class-30

Qatar-Airways-A350-Business-Class-03

Qatar-Airways-A350-Business-Class-08

If that is in fact the new seat, I’d say that’s great news for passengers, as a standard reverse herringbone configuration is my favorite product out there. I might even prefer this version slightly to the ones offered by American (on their 777-300ERs), Cathay Pacific, and EVA Air.

The seat also has roughly the same “footprint” as American’s current 787 business class product.

American’s 787 has 20 business class seats between the two forward doors (spread across five rows in a 1-2-1 configuration):

American-787-Seatmap

And Qatar’s 787 has the same number of seats:

Qatar-787-Seat

I’m crossing my fingers that this is American’s new business class product!

What do you think? Is the Super Diamond seat likely to be American’s new business class product? Would you like it to be?

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

Comments

  1. It looks like the snack bar at the rear of the 787-8 could be a casualty comparing the two seat maps on Seatguru. It’ll all come down to inches I suspect.

  2. I know you love the reverse herringbone seat and I got to fly it twice his week for he first time ever. I’ve flown almost every other type of international business seat so it was good to finally try it. It’s a great seat but with one failing.

    On my second leg, HKG-ADL, 2 and a half hours before a 5am arrival, the wonderful Cathay team started serving breakfast with great speed an efficiency and, unfortunately, banging of carts up and down the aisle. With my head so close to the aisle there was no staying asleep even with ear plugs and noise cancelling headphones.

    All in all I’ve slept better in window seat on staggered, forward facing and BA’s rear facing window seat, the latter being my current favourite biz seat, particularly on the 787.

    The reverse herringbone is otherwise a great seat, and I’m booked on Cathay again later this year so I’ll be keen to try it again. I guess it was more of a soft rather than hard product failure.

  3. “I might even prefer this version slightly to the ones offered by American (on their 777-300ERs), Cathay Pacific, and EVA Air.”

    I don’t. The Super Diamond has less privacy.

    Doesn’t Air France now use the Super Diamond as well?

  4. From the pictures, it looks like the original B/E picture has a bit more privacy than the QR seat. Perhaps His Excellency wanted a more open look for the business cabin?

  5. I’ve flown on a CX 777 and a QR A380 recently. I much preferred the Zodiac seats on Cathay. They felt much more private and roomier. That shoulder height “wing” makes it feel much more enclosed. As far as feeling roomier, is the width of a 777 greater than the width of the upper deck of the A380, so they have to use different width seats? I thought the QR seat definitely felt tighter, especially in the foot well.

  6. I definitely prefer the CX/AA773 business class seat. The QR feels tighter and more claustrophobic in the lie-flat sleeping position mainly since the table blocks you from raising your knees up.

  7. I hate that in these seats, you can’t talk with your travel companion unless you lean forward. Fine for single travelers, but most of us travel with family or friends. Most uncomfortable

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