A Closer Look At EL AL’s New Business Class Seat

In April this year, I attended the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg where I had a look at Recaro’s selection of seats, which included their new CL6710. This is the latest generation lie-flat from the manufacturer best known for its slim-line economy cabins. According to a representative, the product was meant to debut on the TAP Portugal A330neo, though Runway Girl Network reports that El Al will now be the first operator. Let’s have a look at the Recaro standard layout for the product.

First of all, the seat is an interesting compromise between space efficiency and comfort. Overall, the layout is very similar to United’s Polaris layout. Perhaps United should have gone with Recaro instead of Zodiac. 😉

While I haven’t tried the new Polaris seat, judging by Ben’s seat comparison, I think these are quite similar comfort-wise as well. I’d much rather fly in an Apex suite or reverse herringbone seat, but this is probably a good fourth (behind direct aisle access XL Vantage by Thompson) given that it offers aisle access from every seat.

First and foremost, the seat goes fully flat. This is the biggest improvement over their current product.

Other than that, the bed is very slim, especially around the head and foot area.

On one side, there is a small storage surface with entertainment controls and a literature rack.

There is also an area on the floor (and a shoe closet) where a few items can be stored. That’s quite disappointing for a new business class product, but we can always hope that El Al configures it differently.

The entertainment screen is similar to reverse herringbone seats, meaning it needs to be ejected.

Beneath it is the extendable tray table.

So, what are my overall thoughts on this seat? Unfortunately, it’s not too impressive. While it’s great to have direct aisle access, this product offers airlines the highest density configuration in the market. That’s great for their profits, but not so good for passengers. In El Al’s case, they’ll have 32 business class seats in an area where most other airlines fit 30 or less.

Additionally, the lack of proper storage and the restrictive bed are big letdowns. Let’s hope El Al tweaks this seat for the better, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up that they’ll be offering anything industry leading on their new Dreamliners.

Are you excited to try El Al’s new business class? 

Comments

  1. I believe this seat could be a nice replacement for BE diamond seats in 787 and 330 planes, offering more privacy and direct aisle access.

  2. Seat density is a worthless metric — or misleading at best. If this configuration takes adavtage of space wasted by other configurations (say for instance the area needed to allow window/center seats in and out in the apex suites to maintain “direct aisle access” which is unused for 99.9% of the flight) then passengers are no worse off. Space per passenger would be the more valuable metric, but even then it matters where the space is.

  3. @Justin:

    I think it depends on the context. While you’re partially right that seat/passenger density on the surface is misleading since it doesn’t account for the manner in which the space is used, we can also look at it from a soft-product perspective in that airline X FAs have 4 more people to attend to than airline Y. But, I’d also posit that, in general, seat density is directly linked to passenger space…even if just colloquially. So I’d disagree that in normal parlance it’s a useless metric.

  4. At least LY is a legitimate commercially driven airline and organization that connects the diaspora with Israel unlike these phony gulf carriers you all keep beating the drum on.

  5. “Josh G says:
    June 22, 2017 at 12:45 pm
    At least LY is a legitimate commercially driven airline and organization that connects the diaspora with Israel unlike these phony gulf carriers you all keep beating the drum on.”

    LY is hardly “commercially driven.” Certainly no more than the ME3+1, which all engage in much more connecting traffic.

  6. Well I certainly favour this configuration over the denser 2-4-2 on BA. Recaro is German, right? If only LH uses this business config on their A350/A380.. I’d actually renew my M&M membership

  7. I dont understand your two complaints about the seat… I think they look beautiful and its a HUGE step up from what El AL currently offers.

  8. @schar

    At this point you might as well put my grandmother’s 20 year old kitchen chairs in the cabin and you could still call it “a HUGE step up from what El Al currently offers”

  9. These seats look great and are an immense step up for El Al – especially when compared to the business class product from charter flights they often use but don’t advertise; that product is appalling and doesn’t even have lie flat seats for a 12 hour flight

  10. What do you expect from AL EL.?
    Ofcourse they will put two more seats so that they can chicken out two extra fares..imagine every flight every day ..we are talking about millions of millions of dollars…no wonder those people are legends when comes to cheapness.

  11. @Shaheed Hasan
    “Those people”? Would you care to elaborate whom specifically are you referring to?

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